Place the potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are just tender, testing with a sharp knife or fork. Drain and let cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon ghee or oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and sauté for a minute or two, until they turn a shade darker.
Immediately add the onions and cook until translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and the green chilies. Cook another 2 minutes, or until the paste no longer smells raw. Add a little water if needed to prevent sticking.
Stir in the red chili, coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and cook for another two minutes.
Mix in the ground meat or tofu, and sauté until cooked through. Move mixture to a large bowl and add the mashed potatoes, salt, lemon juice, and cilantro (and mint, if using). Stir well.
At this point you would ideally cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I typically skip this step, but it does make the kebabs hold together better. This meat mix can be made up to a day in advance.
Right before cooking, add the flour you are using and a well-beaten egg to the meat mixture.
Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape 2 tablespoons size balls of the mixture, and flatten them into a round disk. Or make 4 to 6 burger sized kababs!
Pan Fry or Bake
Add one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy on the outside.
If you are frying the small appetizer-sized kebabs, you will need to do this in 2 batches. After the first batch, wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Add another tablespoon of oil and fry the second batch.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and generously oil a baking sheet.
Place kebabs on a baking sheet and brush them on both sides with oil. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the kebabs are nicely browned.
Drizzle with lemon juice, or sprinkle of chaat masala, as you wish.
Serve with your favorite chutneys.
Toast the buns in butter in a large pan. Brush date and tamarind chutney and/or mint chutney on both sides of the buns and layer with thinly sliced tomatoes or cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion (lightly pickled or not), and pile on some sev (or even potato chips) for crunch. A slice of tomato would not go amiss. Makes 4 to 6 burgers depending on how large you want them.
This recipe requires that you refrigerate the meat and potato mixture for shaping, so plan accordingly. You can also make it up the day before if that works better for your schedule. I have skipped the refrigerator step and the kababs are a bit more fragile and crumbly, but if you are short on time, it is still a workable mixture.
To make this kabab vegan, use well-drained firm or extra firm tofu.
Depending on whether you use meat or tofu, and you may want to swap out the cilantro for fresh mint; especially when using ground lamb.
Cook the potatoes until just soft, you don’t want them waterlogged.
The recommended binder for these kababs is semolina flour, and since I didn’t have that I used regular flour. If you want to go gluten-free, use chickpea flour (besan) or rice flour.
The nutritional information is for a small snack-sized kabab.