Indian Spiced Nargis Kebab

I love a good Scotch Egg & and this Indian version is called a Nargis Kebab and actually predates the British version!

Portrait image of a Nargis kebab or Indian Scotch Eggs in a pile featuring one cut open showing a runny yolk

An Indian Scotch Egg?

I love Scotch Egg so imagine my joy when I stumbled across something called a nargesi kebab. It was described as an Indian Scotch egg in a Restaurant in the UK.

I guess it was around 1995 and I had never seen it on a menu before and I had no idea if they are an old Indian recipe or not.

But I do know that they tasted delicious and that restaurant rapidly became my favourite place to get Indian food. They also were the only place that served a homestyle egg curry!

A bit of research indicates that this recipe was probably the forerunner of the British Scotch Egg.

My version uses a spiced beef mix and if fried to keep the perfect runny yolk.

Square image of a Nargis kebab or Indian Scotch Eggs in a pile

Cooking Hints & Tips.

How you cook these nargesi kofta really will depend on how you intend to use them.

If I am eating them as a meal at home then I insist on a runny yolk and they must be deep-fried to achieve this.

Boil your eggs as long as it takes for you to get them out of the shells.

For me that is 5 to 6 minutes in boiling water, please note this is using unchilled eggs. As a general rule, eggs in Europe are not refrigerated.

If you are using chilled eggs then this will need to be up to a minute longer.

If I am taking them on a picnic then I boil them for 1-2 minutes longer and will then typically bake them in the oven rather than fry them.

In order to bake them I cook them in a fiercely hot oven around 220°C or 450°F for 15 minutes.

Also if you are planning to eat these cold then increase the spices by 15-25%. The intensity of spices tends to dull when food is served cooled.

Portrait close up image of a Nargis kebab or Indian Scotch Eggs featuring one cut open showing a runny yolk served with mint and cucumber raita

Serving Suggestions.

A Nargis kebab is a seriously rich and filling centrepiece of a meal despite being diminutive in size.

As a result, I usually serve them with something light but also something with a little acidity and sweetness. This helps counter that all that rich protein.

That for me means a mint and cucumber raita.

Raita is a traditional Indian side dish with as many variations as there are families or restaurants.

However, the one I favour consists of yoghurt, sugar, lemon juice and tonnes of fresh mint.

This dish also works really well with a kachumber salad, which is a mix of onion, cucumber and often tomato.

It features a lemon and sugar “dressing” and herbs like mint and coriander.

Indian Nargis Kebab Recipe

Indian Nargis Kebab Recipe

Yield: 4 Kebabs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These Nargis kebabs really are a hidden jewel of Indian cuisine, they are almost certainly the inspiration behind the British Scotch Egg.


  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 250 g Onions
  • 20 g Ginger
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Corriander
  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Mango Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 300 g Ground Beef
  • 5 Eggs
  • 75 g Breadcrumbs


  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic, then grate the ginger.
  2. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pan over a medium high heat.
  3. Add the Cumin and Fenugreek seeds and fry until fragrant, approximately a minute or two.
  4. Add the Onion, Garlic and Ginger then reduce the heat to a medium low setting and cook down until golden.
  5. Throw in the Ground Corriander, Kashmiri Chili, Salt and Mango Powder, stir and cook for a further 1 minute and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Pre-heat your deep fat fryer to 170ºC or 340ºF.
  7. Add the onion mixture to the ground beef along with a single egg and the breadcrumbs and mix. This should give you approximately 550g of meat to wrap around the eggs.
  8. Boil the remaining 4 eggs by placing them in rapidly boiling water for 5-6 minutes and immediately refresh in cold water.
  9. Peel the eggs carefully as they are very soft boiled they will be fragile so take your time.
  10. If you want firmer egg yolks simply boil for longer.
  11. Then divide the meat mixture into four portions.
  12. Flatten out a single serving on a piece of cling film to a rough circle approximately 5-7mm thick and place a shelled egg in the middle
  13. Bring up the edges of the cling film to wrap the meat mixture around the egg.
  14. Wet your hands and remove the cling film and proceed to form the meat into a smooth covering around the egg
  15. Repeat this process for the remaining eggs.
  16. Fry in a deep fat fryer for 5-7 minutes.


The cooking time for the boiled eggs relates to room temperature eggs, if you are using chilled eggs you will need to add another 60 seconds or so.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 299mgSodium: 455mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 32g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

36 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. I have just been thinkingof making since reading a new indian restaurant in london is doing them.
    I own more than 200 cookbooks including indian but nargisi scotch eggs dont appear.
    I feel a breadcrumb coating is essential. For a drinks party use quails eggs, perfect when cut in half

    • I ran across these in a restaurant in a suburb of Birmingham and immediately fell in love with them.

      They date back to the 17th 18th Century in India so definitely pre-date the breadcrumbs of the Scotch Egg I recognise but there is no reason not too change them up 🙂 I like mine as a ‘light meal’ but just like regular Scotch Eggs they are really versatile.

  2. Intending to make these very soon. However as I am on a weight loss plan I would have to cook them in the oven.
    Any idea how long the timing would be please?

    • As a starting point I would say 20-25 minutes at 180C or 350F and use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked to your liking 🙂

  3. Wow, this recipe really impresses! Looks incredible! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I really like. Very beautiful presentation. I definitely want to try your recipe, and I’m sure it is very tasty! Thank you for sharing this great and interesting recipe! YUM!

  4. Ooooh, it’s been a long minute since I’ve had a Scotch egg. I might try this on the weekend when I can get a bit of time free! Love that runny egg yolk.

  5. I love this! Scotch eggs are so yummy but I’ve never tried making them myself. Love the idea of an Indian twist on it 🙂

    • Bizarrely enough the British version is the twist on the Indian version… I know I was like “shut the front door” too 😮

  6. Hi Brian , you can always make nargisi kofta using beef. Indians use lamb keema because of their sensitivity to beef . If you google nargisi kofta you will come across pakistani recipes where they use beef keema . By the way your martial kofta looks scrumptious .

    • Sorry it took a while to respond I was away on holiday, it takes around 6-8 minutes in the fryer depending on the cut of meat and the thickness of the meat covering and how much you par boiled the egg. A harder yolk is not the end of the world it still tastes awesome but it does lack the squeal of delight a runny yolk inspires.

  7. Pingback: Egg Curry, a personal favourite! | Krumpli
  8. I had no idea scotch eggs weren’t simply a wonderful British invention. Looks completely delicioius though and I’ll give it a go. Always looking for new scotch egg style recipe. My current favourite is wrapped in duck confit – but so long as it’s got a runny yolk you simply can’t go wrong 🙂

    • Thanks Matt, love the idea of a scotch egg in Duck confit, sounds awesome… Nargisis kebab probably dates back to the time of the Raj and is one of the original ‘fusion foods’ 😉

      • I would be guessing to be honest with you and what I am about to suggest could be a massive disaster! It could of course work perfectly and be delicious, either way let me know.

        I know that a lot of keto bread uses almond flour and you could give that a punt, go for something fairly coarsely ground and add just enough to hold the meat mix together. I actually use pine nuts in my standard meatballs for flavour and texture so the idea of nuts in meatballs is not a huge stretch for me!

    • Thank you, they took an awful long time to develop but now I have them down to ‘pat’ then they are pretty simple 🙂

  9. Your Scotch eggs look way better than mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for being the first to link up to #MonthlyMasala! 🙂

    • Thanks for arranging it, Whitney… Spending an afternoon browsing through Indian Recipes is my idea of time well spent 😉

  10. How have I not come across these before, I love scotch eggs and Indian food. I’ve added some beef to my shopping list though if I can get hold of some beef sausage I reckon that would work quite well. I always bake my scotch eggs as I’ve always been a bit scared of fryers so will be sacrificing the runny yolk but am sure they’ll still be delicious!

    • I know, the first time I saw them my head nearly exploded… It was in an Indian Restaurant in Birmingham (unequivocally the best place in the world to get a curry 😉 ) after that I started seeing them in a few more but not very often, all the ones I ate were made with Lamb but getting hold of lamb here is nigh on impossible but the beef works really well. I have a bit of a runny yolk fetish, it just makes me smile, mother natures perfect little sauce, but I have made these for picnics and gone with a harder yolk and they still work wonderfully!

  11. I have printed this off to try tonight! Hungry Hubby will be soooo thrilled if I can pull them off! What a blinder of a recipe Brian. Do you know any more about where they come from in India etc? Just curious. And is it 1 tsp or 1 tbsp cumin seeds I need?

    • Well spotted Jo, I have update it is a Tablespoon… You will have to let me know how you get on and send some pictures… I have tried to find out where they come from but to no avail, so Spice Island in Birmingham (I think that is what is was called) gets to claim them as it was the first place I saw them 😉

  12. I’ve made Scotch eggs exactly once but baked them and even though they tasted great I still longed for the taste and texture of a ‘real’ scotch egg one day. This Indian version, though, sounds pretty amazing so I think I should give them a try. Kibbeh, a similar deep fried ground beef ‘egg’ stuffed with seasoned ground beef is amazing shallow fried, so I might try shallow frying in case I chicken out on the deep frying. 🙂

    • You could shallow fry scotch eggs and I would probably do it that way if I wanted to have a solid yolk, but to keep the runny yolk I think the cooking time would be too long as you would need to keep the heat moderate to ensure the meat is cooked through.

        • I would think so although I have not tried, maybe if you tried quails eggs with a much thinner meat covering you could get away shallow frying. But it would be trial and error, it took me a while to get the right temperature of oil and ratio of meat to egg to get this recipe the way I like it… Not that I am complaining even the ones that did not work out great to look at tasted fabulous 🙂


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