Spicy, Perfect Cocktail Kabobs

  • 7th February 2014

Amended from one of our favorite cookbooks of all time, Savoring India, the cocktail kabobs are little bites of spicy, savory goodness.  They are Indian meatballs at their finest!


In lieu of serving them with chutney, we added the fresh mint right into the recipe.



Savory and spicy cocktail kabobs

Photo Courtesy of: Savoring India, Williams Sonoma Cookbook


They are delicious and appreciated as an appetizer at any party.  However, we find we make them more frequently as an after-school snack.

Packed with protein they are just the pick-me-up kids need as they head from one activity to the other before dinner.

They are just as delicious cold and right out of the fridge, so we often find them ridiculously convenient for a hungry mom on the go.



Cocktail Kabobs


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 lb ground beef or lamb

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin (we added)

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (we amended)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/8 cup finely chopped mint (we added)

4 fresh mild green chiles such as Anaheim, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon ground red chili pepper (we added)

1 egg

1 slice of white bread, crusts removed

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon Adu Lassan (ginger garlic paste…recipe available here)


In a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often until it turns caramel brown, about 9 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and add the meat, garam masala, cumin, Adu Lassan, mint, salt, cloves, cilantro, red pepper, chiles and egg.


In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 1 minute, mash it to a pulp, and add it to the meat mixture.  Mix thoroughly, preferably with your hands, kneading the mixture until it is uniformly smooth and silky.  Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, then make 8 balls with each portion.  (If necessary, dip your fingers in water to prevent the meat from sticking to them while you make the kabobs.)


Heat 2 large nonstick frying pans over high heat until hot.  Place 16 kabobs in each pan.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and fry, shaking and turning, until they are cooked through and browned all over, about 8 minutes.  If necessary, reduce the heat to medium during the last few minutes of cooking.



Cocktail Kababs Nestled in a Gravy Boat and Ready to Serve.

Cocktail Kababs Nestled in a Gravy Boat and Ready to Serve.



Make a double-batch, keep them in the fridge and they disappear by week’s end.   You can warm them and press them between a fresh baguette…chop up some tomatoes, boil some pasta, add the kabobs and dinner is done!



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