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Kenyan Kebab Recipe : Swahili Style

So you’re tired of boring meals and snacks and want something to trigger your taste buds? Absolutely can’t go wrong with kebabs! Also known as Kababu za Nyama in Swahili 

Imagine; juicy ground beef, onions, garlic, coriander(cilantro), mixed together with your favorite spices. Okay you imagined what a flavor kaboom tastes like

In summary, Swahili kebabs are made by combining lean ground beef with freshly cut herbs, onions, and aromatics of choice; mostly ginger and garlic, with at least 3 different spices added too for extra aroma and kick.

Once homogeneous bread crumbs are optionally added, the mixture is coated in flour and then egg-washed, fried, and egg-washed again up to at least 3 coats of egg wash. The resulting kebabs are so fluffy crisp on the outside and tender on the inside

Just like Jesse and Walter, let’s cook!


  •  (500g,17.7oz) Ground Beef(Minced Beef) 
  •  1 Bunch of Dhania / Coriander(Cilantro) or Parsley
  •  1 Bunch of Spring Onions
  •  1 Large White/Red Onion Bulb
  •  3 Cloves of Garlic
  •  1 Thumb of Ginger
  •  1Tsp Garam Masala
  •  1Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  •  1Tsp Cumin Powder
  •  1Tsp Paprika
  •  1 Tsp Onion Powder (Optional)
  • 1/2 Tsp White Pepper (Optional)
  •  Black Pepper Grinder
  •  Salt
  •  3 Cups Vegetable Oil
Ingredient Preparation


  • Dice up your red/white onions, oil the pan with 2 tbsp of oil, and cook them on low heat. Once cooked and translucent add minced ginger and garlic paste, add your ground spices after another minute, and cook further for another minute till everything is combined and distributed evenly. Take the onions off the heat and let cool
  • Proceed to chop your coriander(cilantro)  and spring onion leaves and add them to a separate bowl
  • In a large bowl add your ground beef, salt it before combining it with the cooked onions, and use a cooking stick to mix till homogeneous
  • Add the coriander and spring onions to the beef mixture and combine.
  • Proceed to mold the resulting beef onion coriander mixture into a cylindrical shape using the palm of your hand and your fingertips, then finish it off by rolling it on a flat surface for a more even shape
  • Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour on a plate and spread it over the surface
  • In a separate shallow plate, crack two eggs salt and pepper them before mixing till whites and yolks are combined. This is our egg wash
  • Roll the kebab patties on the flour for coating then proceed to egg wash them once done place them aside on a flat surface 
  • In a deep pot add 3 cups of vegetable oil and heat till ready, reduce heat and using  a spatula carefully grab your patties and dunk them in the oil, don’t overcrowd your pot
  • Cook till the brownish color turns whitish, take the kebabs off the heat and cool for a minute before proceeding to egg wash them, and deep fry again adding another layer
  • Repeat the process of egg washing and deep frying for at least 3 coats of egg. 4 is good but you can do 5 if you want extra fluffy results
  • Cool the bad boys before serving; At this point, they will be smelling heavenly, I got my lip burnt so you don’t have to
Kenyan Kebabs

Swahili Kebabs

Swahili kebabs, or Kababu za Nyama in Swahili, are a flavorful and aromatic dish made from ground beef mixed with flour various herbs and spices, and eggwashed.
Then Deep fried with a coating of eggwash for a series
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Servings 2 people
Calories 605 kcal


  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Mixing Bowls (large and small)
  • Frying pan or skillet
  • Wooden Spoon or Cooking Stick
  • Shallow Plate (for flour)
  • Shallow Plate (for egg wash)
  • Spatula
  • Deep Pot or Deep Fryer
  • Slotted Spoon or Spider Strainer
  • Paper Towels
  • Pastry Brush (optional)
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups


  • Prepare the Aromatics:
    Dice 1 large white/red onion.
    Mince 3 cloves of garlic and 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger.
  • Cook the Aromatics:
    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over low heat.
    Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
    Add the minced garlic and ginger, cooking for another minute.
    Add 1 teaspoon each of garam masala, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, and paprika.
    Optional: Add 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.
    Cook for an additional minute until everything is well combined. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Prepare the Herbs:
    Finely chop 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro) or parsley.
    Finely chop 1 bunch of spring onions.
  • Combine Ingredients:
    In a large mixing bowl, add 500g (17.7 oz) of ground beef.
    Add salt to taste and mix in the cooked onion-spice mixture.
    Add the chopped coriander and spring onions. Mix until homogeneous.
  • Shape the Kebabs:
    Mold the beef mixture into cylindrical shapes using your hands.
    Roll the kebabs on a flat surface for an even shape.
  • Prepare the Coating:
    Spread 1 cup of all-purpose flour on a plate.
    In a shallow plate or bowl, crack 2 eggs, add salt and pepper, and mix well to make an egg wash.
  • Coat the Kebabs:
    Roll each kebab in the flour to coat.
    Dip each floured kebab into the egg wash.
    Repeat the flour coating and egg wash process at least three times for each kebab to ensure a thick, crispy coating.
  • Fry the Kebabs:
    Heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a deep pot over medium heat.
    Carefully lower the kebabs into the hot oil using a spatula.
    Fry until the kebabs turn a whitish-brown color.
    Remove the kebabs from the oil and let them cool for a minute.
    Repeat the egg wash and frying process for at least three coats. Four to five coats can be done for extra crispiness.
    After the final coat, fry the kebabs until golden brown and crispy.
  • Rest the Kebabs:
    Let the kebabs rest on paper towels to drain excess oil and to firm up.
  • Serving:
    Serve the Swahili kebabs hot with your favorite condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce, or a mix of these.


  1. Use Fresh Mince:
    • Freshly minced beef will yield better results in terms of texture and flavor compared to frozen mince.
  2. Ensure Firmness:
    • When molding the kebabs, make sure the mixture is firm and tightly packed. This prevents the kebabs from disintegrating during frying.
  3. Even Coating:
    • While rolling the kebabs in flour and egg wash, ensure even coating on all sides, including the edges. This helps in achieving a uniform, crispy crust.
  4. Control Frying Temperature:
    • Use a deep and narrow pot for frying. This ensures the kebabs are fully immersed in the oil without using excessive amounts.
    • Do not overcrowd the pot to ensure even cooking and to prevent the kebabs from sticking together.
    • Maintain a medium heat and reduce the heat to low when re-coating the kebabs to prevent burning the new egg layers. Increase the heat again when frying.
  5. Multiple Layers:
    • Apply at least three coats of egg wash and frying. This creates a thick, crispy outer layer while keeping the inside tender and flavorful. You can do four or five coats for extra fluffiness and crispiness.
  6. Allow to Rest:
    • After the final frying, let the kebabs rest on paper towels. This helps them firm up and ensures they hold together well when served.
  7. Condiment Suggestions:
    • Serve with your favorite condiments. Popular choices include ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce, or a mixture of these. Experiment to find your preferred combination.


Swahili kebabs are so different from kebabs around the world. What do they taste like? Crispy egg crust on the outside and aromatic spicy beef filling on the inside. The diced withered onions and coriander add more texture to the filling. Getting all those textures and flavors in a single bit is so heavenly!

Serve your kebabs with your favorite condiments, there are no rules here just go crazy; go simple with just ketchup, or like me I prefer to combine the following;

2Tbs Mayo, 2Tbs Ketchup, 1Tbs Hot Sauce,1/4Tbs Mustard,Salt and Black Pepper

Coat your kebab end with the sauce and stuff your throat, or just slice your kebab across and dip it in your sauce.


  1. You can cook minced meat in a pan before combining it with onions and spices
  2. You can also add bread crumbs and one egg to the beef to make it more sturdy
  3. For even-sized rolls, use a measuring cup to scoop an equal amount of the beef mixture, 1/3 cup is ideal for small two bite-sized kebabs. Use 2/3 cup to 1 cup if you want absolute units
  4. When molding make sure it is firm and tight with no air spaces. Press tightly against your hands. The firmness will go a long way in preventing our kebabs from disintegrating in hot oil. Remember, if it is not tight it is not right 
  5. When rolling kebabs in all-purpose flour, or egg washing them, don’t forget the side edges. When egg washing if you are weak and don’t want to touch the messy egg mixture, just use a pastry brush to cover the kebab all around
  6. Use a spatula to gently lower down your kebabs into the hot oil. Make sure you use a deep and narrow pot when frying. The depth is important in ensuring full immersion of the kebabs and the narrowness factor will just help us achieve the desired depth without using large quantities of oil. You are not limited to vegetable oil as well, any high smoke point oil is ideal. Canola and Peanut oils work pretty fine as well
  7. Don’t overcrowd your pot, to prevent your rolls from sticking together, and will ensure even cooking. Also, don’t cook once to completion and instead use the cooking cycles. When re-coating the rolls make sure to reduce your heat to low as this will prevent instant burning of the new egg layers added, increase your heat once you have dunked them back into the oil
  8. After the final coat cook longer till golden and brown, allow the kebabs to rest first as the inside is still hot and cooking. Resting also allows them to firm up more and will hold up well without falling apart

Nutritional Information

Servings: 1 Amount per serving   Calories 605 

% Daily Value* Total Fat(62.8g 81%) Saturated Fat 11.8g 59% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 549mg 24% Total Carbohydrate 11.6g 4% Dietary Fiber 3.1g 11% Total Sugars 1.9g   Protein 3.6g 

Vitamin D 0mcg 0% Calcium 80mg 6% Iron 3mg 18% Potassium 341mg 7% 

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.


The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary based on ingredients, cooking methodology, and quantities used. This should only be used for informational purposes and not for dietary advice. 

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