Hara bhara kabab are vegetarian kababs made with spinach, potatoes and green peas. Kabab is a piece of meat or vegetable most commonly char grilled. Rajma kabab, soya kababs, corn kabab & hara bhara kabab are some of the vegetarian kabab that make a perfect snack. Hara bhara kabab are most commonly found on Indian restaurant menus & are served as a starter or appetizer.
This recipe will help you to make the best hara bhara kabab, better than the ones you get in good restaurants. Plus you have the option to use the best & fresh ingredients when made at home.
Hara bhara kabab is a quick energy booster snack that can be enjoyed by anyone including toddlers. I make these kababs as a evening snack or after school snack for my kids.
Most kids are fussy to eat their greens but mine easily get convinced to eat these hara bhara kababs, palak paratha , creamy palak paneer and this aloo palak. You may like to check this collection of palak recipes.
Kababs are usually grilled on char coal fire or tandoori ovens. But when made at home these are apt to be pan fried or baked. You can find the instructions to bake these below.
Preparation for hara bhara kabab
1. Pluck the leaves of palak and add them to a large pot of water. I usually sprinkle some vinegar & salt over the leaves. Rest for a while and then rinse them in ample amount of water.
Repeat rinsing thrice and drain the leaves in a colander until the excess water drains up completely.
Avoid using the stalks of spinach as they may leave a bitter taste.
2. Boil potatoes in whatever way you prefer to. They should be just cooked and not mushy. I cooked in a pot with little water. You can steam them as well. Take care not to overcook.
Once done, remove them with a slotted spoon to a colander. Drain off any excess water. You can use up the stock for making roti dough.
3. Dry roast besan in a pan till the raw smell is gone. You should begin to smell the flour good. Transfer this to a plate to cool.
4. Pour 1½ tsps oil to a pan. Fry ginger garlic paste till the raw smell is gone.
5. Add green peas and chilies. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes. If the peas are not tender, you will have to cook for a little longer. Since we are not going to deep fry the patties, peas will not be cooked much further. So we need to cook until the raw smell of the peas is gone.
6. Sprinkle amchur, garam masala and salt. Stir it and saute for a minute.
7. Ensure there is no water in palak. Then add it to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 mins until the leaves wilt off completely. The leaves will not get cooked much in the kababs so it is good to fry to suit your liking. Set aside to cool completely.
OR You can also blanch the palak in 3 cups of hot water, drain completely and then use it in the next step.
8. Add spinach, green peas masala and coriander leaves to a blender. Next blend till slightly coarse or smooth texture.
9. Mash the potatoes. my kids like tiny chunks of potatoes in the kebab so i left some tiny bits.
10. Add the pureed peas mixture and chick pea flour as well. If you do not have chick pea flour, you can replace it with dried bread crumbs. But flour lends a nice flavor.
11. Mix everything well. You should get a fairly stiff dough. Otherwise the kebab will turn soft and soggy from inside. Add bread crumbs as needed. If the mixture is not stiff enough or you want the patties to be very crispy.
How to make hara bhara kabab
12. Next heat a tawa and add 1 tbsp oil for each batch. Take small portions of the dough and make balls. Flatten them as needed. Fry on both the sides. You can even coat the patties in dry bread crumbs. Set the patties aside for 5 to 7 minutes for the crumbs to stick well.
13. You may get a green colored to deep brown patties depending on the flame. A high flame yields fairly browned but crispy patties in little time. If frying on a low flame, you can prevent them from turning brown. But takes a lot of time to make them crispy.
Serve hara bhara kabab with a sauce or chutney. We served with mint chutney and homemade tomato ketchup. These can also be served as patties to make a burger.
Variations of hara bhara kabab
Hara bhara kabab translates to kababs that are loaded with greens. So these are made with lots of spinach, green peas, coriander leaves and potatoes. Here are some variations I often make to the recipe
1. I am a health nut and prefer to reduce the consumption of potatoes even for my kids, so I make these with sweet potatoes.
2. Usually hara bhara kababs are made with roasted gram flour or besan. I feel it is a bit of work to do it on a low flame. So I replace it with powdered poha. You can also use fiber rich red poha.
3. If the peas are not young, then I steam them along with potatoes.
4. Earlier I use to blanch the palak and use it to make the hara bhara kabab. Now a days I do not prefer to blanch it except for salads. So spinach is sauteed in oil and used in the recipe. If you are on a low oxalate diet then do blanch it.
Hara bhara kabab are best when served just out of the pan since they are crispy. They tend to loss the crispness when cooled down because they are not deep fried.
If you have kids who love burgers, then they may like these hara bhara kabab as patties in veg burger. I spread some hung curd inside the burger. But you can also use some tomato ketchup or eggless mayo.
Hara bhara kabab are my kids’ favorite and they love these in their burgers.
You can also make a yummy chaat by adding dates tamarind chutney, sev, onions, tomatoes topped over it.
Baking or grilling hara bhara kabab
- I usually make smaller patties if baking them. You will be able to make about 15 small kababs.
- Grease a tray generously. Brush the kababs generously with oil.
- Preheat the oven for at least 15 mins at 180 C. Then bake the hara bhara kabab for 10 mins on each side.
- Flip them after 10 mins and bake until golden. Adjust the timing as needed depending on the size.
- You can grill these in a grill pan on stove top. Just grease your pan generously and then grill them on both the sides.
You can also find more healthy snacks recipes here.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for hara bhara kabab
- 300 grams potatoes or aloo or sweet potatoes
- ½ cup coriander leaves or daniya patta
- 1 cup green peas or matar (frozen or fresh)
- 1 to 3 green chilies (less spicy kind)
- 120 grams spinach (or palak 1 medium size bunch)
- 3 tablespoon besan (or gram flour, or poha powder or bread crumbs)
- ¼ cup bread crumbs (optional, use if dough is too moist)
- 1 ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste or grated
- salt as needed
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or ¼ to ½ tsp amchur or chaat masala)
- 2 to 3 teaspoon oil for frying
How to make the recipe
Preparation for hara bhara kabab
- Pluck and rinse spinach well in a large pot of water.
- Drain to a colander. Ensure the water has completely drained before using it later.
- Boil potatoes until just cooked. You can also cook peas together.
- Make sure the potatoes are firm and not mushy.
- Dry roast besan or gram flour till it turns aromatic. Set this aside. Or just skip this step and use bread crumbs or poha powder.
- Saute ginger garlic paste in 1 tsp oil till the raw smell is gone. Otherwise the kababs will have the smell of raw ginger and garlic.
- Add peas and chilies to the pan. Then stir fry until peas are tender.
- Add palak & saute until it wilts off completely. (Or If you are on a low oxalate diet, then you can also blanch the palak in 3 cups hot water, drain completely and use it to blend with green peas.) But the sauteing method tastes best.
- Next add the garam masala and salt. Saute for a minute until a nice aroma comes out. Cool completely.
- Blend together palak, peas and coriander leaves to a smooth paste. No water should be added at this point.
- Mash the potatoes & add the ground peas palak paste to the mashed potatoes.
- Mix in the besan to make a uniform non-sticky dough.
- If the dough turns sticky, then add bread crumbs to absorb excess moisture.
How to make hara bhara kabab
- Divide the dough to 10 kababs. Flatten them and make patties.
- Heat a tawa or pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Then fry hara bhara kabab till golden & crisp.
- Flip and fry on both the sides. You can also bake these in a oven.
- Serve hara bhara kabab with ketchup or green chutney.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
You can also fry them in ghee if serving to kids.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.