A bun kabab is nothing more than a simple potato and lentil patty, coated in egg and shallow fried. The patty is then topped with two chutneys, some sliced onions, and squeezed between a soft, sweet bun.
Many variations of the original creation exist today as there’s a street stall on virtually every corner of the country. Each vendor has his own secret recipe for the patty and the chutneys.
Some use a meat patty, some use one chutney, some two. There’s an assortment of toppings, from onions to cucumbers and at times tomatoes. Some coat the patty in egg and some fry the egg separately and top the patty with it.
I hope you try and like my version of the famous street food!
The Bun Kabab Slider Recipe
Boiling the Lentils
The best lentil to use for the bun kabab is chana dal (split chickpea). Since it has a firm texture it keeps the kabab from breaking. It’s important not to overcook the lentils too much as the patties won’t form properly if you do. For best results, soak the lentils overnight and then cook for a short period. The soaking softens them and ensures that they will cook quicker.
Cook the onions, ginger, garlic, and lentils together with just a little bit of water. As soon as the mixture reaches a boil, cover the saucepan with foil and reduce the flame to its lowest setting. The rest of the cooking will take place via steaming, as this helps retain maximum flavor.
Preparing the Kabab Mixture
Since the potatoes and lentils are different inconsistencies, they need to be separately prepped. The potatoes must be boiled, peeled, and mashed by hand as using the food processor makes them too pasty. The lentils are boiled as instructed above and then added to a food processor along with the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices and pureed.
The potatoes and lentils are then mixed by hand and formed into the patties, ready to be fried!
Frying the Patties
Some versions of bun kabab have a separately fried patty and a thin omelet on top. I coat my kabab in hand-beaten eggs to give them a slightly crispy coating and to prevent them from falling apart. Any residual egg (as seen in the picture below) is added to the buns along with the patties. I find that this is less labor-intensive than cooking the two separately.
The Best Buns
Authentic street style bun kebabs are made with very soft and slightly sweet buns. I use potato buns as they have the exact same taste and texture as the ones I remember from back home.
Once the patties are almost done, I place the buns face down on the frying pan as shown below. Toasting them this way makes them taste amazing as the residual grease in the pan gives them a buttered flavor. The buns are ready to be assembled once they turn light brown and crispy on the inside.
Assembling the Bun Kabab Sliders
I chose to make my bun kababs into sliders, but you can just as easily opt to make full-sized ones. For the chutneys, I used my green coconut chutney and my sugar-free imli tamarind chutney. Just smear some of each type directly on the buns, place the fried kabab, some onions and you’re ready to eat!
I don’t like to add cucumbers or tomatoes to mine as I feel they get a little soggy this way but feel free to choose your own toppings.
- 1cup chana dal (Split Chickpeas)
- ½cup chopped onion
- 1tbsp crushed ginger
- 1tbsp minced garlic
- 1cup water
- 3potatoes (1.5 Cups Mashed)
- 2tsp red chili powder
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 2tsp salt
- 2tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder)
- 1tsp chat masala (Optional)
- ½cup cooking oil
- 1onion sliced
- ½cup green coconut chutney
- ½cup sugar-free tamarind chutney
- 24slider buns
1. Soak the lentils overnight
2. Dice the onion
3. Strain the soaked lentils and add them to a saucepan with the onions, ginger, garlic, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil
5. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the saucepan with foil and steam the lentils for 10 minutes so they cook through
6. Once done, place the lentils in your food processor, with the red chili powder, coriander powder, salt, amchur, and chat masala (if using) and pulse till mashed
7. Boil 3 potatoes, peel, and mash
8. Mix the lentil mixture with the potatoes and shape it into patties
9. Beat the two eggs in a shallow dish
10. Heat the oil in a large wide frying pan and dip the patties in the egg mixture and shallow fry till light brown on each side
11. Slice the buns and place them on the pan to heat
12. Assemble the bun kebabs with the patties, two chutneys, sliced onions, and whatever else you chose to add.
About Nosheen: She graduated from Southeastern University and completed her high school at Karachi Grammar School. She later worked at Bank of America and ANZ Grindlays Bank. She has also served voluntarily for several boards, including Treasurer of an Elementary School Board, Second Vice President of an Elementary School Board, Treasurer of a Middle School Board, and On the board of a Non-Profit (O.S.E.F-Ocean Springs Education Foundation)
For more interesting recipes from Nosheen, watch this space.