I am making shami kabab, but the kababs are breaking when fried although the pre-frying mixture is hard. What should I do to prevent them from breaking? It spoils their look.
In these types of recipes, you have two approaches to hold the minced meat together.
If you’re not using eggs, or using less than what standard recipe calls; you should use a bit more.
Overworking the minced meat with salt creates a thicker texture, it’s not desirable in many kabab/kofte applications; however it will denature the proteins so they will bind... Essentially the same chemical principle with the egg whites.
You can keep kneading it until it becomes more pasty, or add flour and and a bit of water if need be. Using the flour, you won't need to use eggs. I have made something similar myself in the past using flour and water but I'm afraid I don't remember well enough to give more details.
Without the recipe you're using, it's hard to say what exactly is causing them to break while frying. However, here are some tips from my answer on another question:
Shami Kababs are traditionally made with boneless beef. The chunkier/thready texture of meat helps the kabab hold their shape. Ground beef mince is also used instead if you like it mild. To achieve a balance, you can use half meat cubes and half ground mince.
The trick to a good shami kabab is not just in choosing meat with enough fat to keep it juicy and moist but also in the proportion of chana daal cooked with the mince to hold it together, ideally 1kg meat and 250g daal. More the chana daal, softer the texture will be.
It's very important to cook the mixture of meat and daal until all the water has completely and absolutely evaporated out of the mixture before you take it off the heat. If the mixture is too wet, the kebabs will not hold their shape and will disintegrate while frying.
You can also place the shaped kababs on a flat tray/platter and put them in the freezer for some time to settle. This will help them hold their shape while frying.
If the shami kebab mixture is a bit too sticky or loose and feels difficult to hold together while shaping or frying, as a last resort you can add 1-2 tbsp of roasted gramflour to the mixture but that's not recommended as it interfers with the authentic taste of shami kababs.
Dip the shami kabab in whisked egg and shallow fry using minimal oil. This gives them a nice golden crust preventing any disintegration.