Chicken Seekh Kebab or chicken shish kebab is must have appetizer with Indian meals. These kebabs are skewered ground chicken seasoned with warm tandoori-style Indian spices, grilled to perfection. Seekh (meaning skewer) kebabs are an extremely popular finger food in India.
Eat as an appetizer with a yogurt-cilantro chutney as a dipping sauce, or roll it in a pita or lavaash for a hearty chicken kebab wrap. This crowd pleaser is ready in under 30 minutes!
Difference between Shish Kebab and Seekh Kebab
In India, seekh kebab refers to cylindrical patties made with ground meat and cooked on a skewer. Whereas shish kebab refers to cubes of meat, which are also usually cooked on a skewer in a tandoor oven.
I learnt that in the middle east, both the ground meat skewers and the meat cubes are called shish kebab or shish kabob. Since shish kebab is what is commonly found in middle eastern restaurants in the United States, I will refer to these ground meat croquettes as shish kebab for the rest of this article.
My Secret Mommy Hack for Healthier Chicken Shish Kebabs
In my quick and easy take on this classic, I add shredded carrots to the ground meat mix. This keeps the kebabs moist and adds a hint of sweetness to balance the heat of the garam masala. This is a great way to sneak in some vegetables for the kids.
How to Make Shish Kebabs
These chicken shish kebabs are very easy to make at home. Just combine ground chicken, finely chopped shallots and grated carrots, a green chilli, crushed ginger and garlic, garam masala, paprika, salt, yogurt and some butter or ghee, and mix well.
You can use ground lamb instead of chicken to make lamb kebabs. You can also skip the garam masala and crushed ginger, and add some black pepper instead to get a more mediterranean flavored chicken shish kebab.
To make the kebabs, wet your palms with water, so that the chicken mixture does not stick to your hands. Take a scoop of the chicken mixture and roll it into an cylindrical or oblong shape by gently pressing it together.
Thread a skewer through the chicken spice mix. Place the skewers on a lined ungreased baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 4 minutes, flip and broil for another 4 minutes on the other side.
Rest for 5 minutes before serving. You can also grill the chicken shish kebabs on an outdoor grill.
Pair with Cilantro Chutney
These chicken shish kebabs go really well with a condiment like homemade cilantro chutney. This is the most common way to enjoy this seekh kebabs as appetizers.
Make it a Meal
You can also make a meal with these chicken shish kebabs by serving them with saffron rice and cucumber raita (yoghurt). The yoghurt adds a cooling balance to the warm Indian spices in the kebabs, and the aromatic basmati rice complete the meal.
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Chicken Shish Kebab | Seekh Kebab
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano chili de-seeded for mild heat
- 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste or 3 cloves of garlic + ½ inch ginger
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ghee or butter (melted)
- 8-10 bamboo skewers
- Mix all the ingredients, except butter, together in a bowl. Add melted butter/ghee and mix well. Divide the mixture evenly into 8 or 10 portions.
- Wet your palms with water, take the chicken mixture and roll it into an oblong or cylindrical shape by gently pressing it together. Thread a skewer through the spiced chicken mix. Place the skewers on a lined ungreased baking sheet.
- Turn on the oven on "Hi Broil" mode and place the baking sheet on the top rack. Broil the kebabs 4 minutes on the first side, flip them, cook another 4 minutes till they are golden brown. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the Cilantro-chili chutney as an appetizer or pair with a green salad for a low-carb meal.
- Pre-soak the bamboo skewers for 10 minutes, at least 30 minutes prior to broiling or grilling time. If you forget to do so, which I do most of the time, just wrap the exposed ends with some aluminum foil and no one will know:-)