Recipe from Iran
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
1 1/2 cups (300g) yellow split peas, picked and rinsed
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 kg ground beef
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
Parsley and fresh flatbread, for serving
Dissolve ground saffron in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and set aside.
Place the peas in a pot and pour 3-4 cups water over them. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are tender (add more water during cooking, if necessary). Drain and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a pot over medium heat; add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add beef and sauté until brown on all sides. Add the turmeric, 1 1/2 cups water, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
Place the beef and peas in a large bowl; combine well. Mash until smooth and soft. Add the eggs, dissolved saffron, baking powder, more salt and black pepper; mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Make small balls using about 3 tablespoons of the mixture for each one. Flatten the balls into pattice, about 3/4 inch thick and poke a hole in the centre.
Pour oil into a non-stick frying pan until about 1cm deep. Heat over medium-high until hot, but not smoking. Reduce heat to medium and place the shami kebab patties gently in the frying pan (make sure not to overcrowd). Fry, checking regularly. Once you see that the bottom has turned a golden colour, flip them over and brown the other side. Add more oil, if necessary. Drain on a paper towel and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve cold or hot with bread.