This kebab Hindi dish is original to the Levant area (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine). While it’s called kebab hindi, an Arabic name that translates to Indian kebab, the person who invented or named it clearly has not been to India or learned Indian cuisine as it has nothing to do with Indian food! I just kept the name for people who are specifically looking for this recipe.
These kebabs are flavorful, made from wholesome fresh ingredients, and easy to prepare in advance. Read the instructions for preparing and freezing all the way at the end of the post. I also share ways to modify the recipe to be low in FODMAPs and food sensitivity (LEAP-MRT) friendly.
Kebab Hindi Recipe
- 6 large tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- 1.5 pounds ground beef (may replace with lamb, chicken, or turkey if desired)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (or more if desired)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Prepare the tomato sauce. Score an “x” in the bottom of each tomato and soak in boiled water for 1 minutes. Peel the tomatoes and dice. You can skip this step by using canned tomatoes if you desire.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the onion until transluscent.
- Add the dices tomatoes and chopped bell pepper (if using). Season with some salt and black pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the meat kebabs.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. If using ground chicken or turkey, brush a baking sheet with rim with some avocado oil. If using beef or lamb, they tend to have enough fat and additional oil is not necessary.
- Combine the ground beef, garlic, all spice, cinnamon, salt, pepper, curry powder, and pinenuts in a medium size bowl. Use your hands to make sure all ingredients are mixed well, then shape into 3-inch oval kebab pieces (see the picture). Alternatively, make into meatballs.
- Place in the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 F degrees.
- Add the tomato sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.
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Make ahead instructions:
You can make this delicious kebab Hindi recipe ahead several ways:
- Make the whole dish completely. Save in a freezer-safe glass baking sheet. Thaw in the fridge overnight. You can also make it a day or two before you want to serve it and keep it in the fridge. To reheat, place the pan in a cool oven and then turn the oven on at 350 F degrees. Cook until desired temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Making the tomato sauce ahead. Follow the instructions for cooking the tomato sauce. Cool and then freeze in a glass jar for few weeks or save in the fridge for few days. You will need to make the meat kebabs fresh.
- Making the meat kebabs ahead. Follow the instructions for making the kebabs. Instead of cooking at 400 F degrees for 15 minutes, cook for 30 minutes at 350 F degrees. If you have a food thermometer, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 155 F. They must be fully cooked before freezing or cooling! Let them cool to room temperature, then either freeze the kebabs in a freezer-safe bag for few weeks or in the fridge for few days. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge if frozen. Make the tomato sauce fresh and drop the kebabs in the same pot or bake in the oven to warm.
Low FODMAPs Modification
Omit the garlic and onion. You may add the green part of scallions for flavor. Fresh tomatoes should be ok.
Food Sensitivity (MRT-LEAP) Modification
These modification will change the flavor, but you can use the same method to make something completely creative customized to you! Use your allowed type of meat. You may omit garlic or onion if needed. For spices, use what is allowed based on your plan. This might change the flavor, but you can play around and use turmeric, cardamom, coriander, paprika, oregano, parsley, etc. Use an allowed nut like almonds or cashews. If you can’t use tomatoes, you may use other vegetables like zucchini, carrot, mushroom, and eggplant. Saute or roast, then dice and add to the kebabs.