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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.

I love Scotch Egg & I have been trying to replicate an Indian version, the Nargis Kebab for quite some time and by jove I think I have cracked it!
Yield: 4 Kebabs

Indian Nargis Kebab Recipe

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:



Serving Size:


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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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Monday 9th of March 2020

Hey Can we use minced chicken instead of beef?

Brian Jones

Monday 9th of March 2020

You can, however you must ensure that the chicken is cooked through to 74C or 165F which means longer cooking time and the likelihood of a less runny yolk.

I would also scale back the spices in the mix, beef has a much stronger flavour so can take stronger spicing.

Roy Thomas

Monday 25th of February 2019

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

Brian Jones

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

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.

Sarah Ricketts

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

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?

Brian Jones

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

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 :)

Veena Azmanov

Monday 23rd of April 2018

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!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Thanks Veena

Ruthy @ Percolate Kitchen

Monday 23rd of April 2018

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.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Have fun :)