Chapli kebab (Afghan meat patties)

Chapli kebab (Pashto: چپلي کباب‎) is a minced kebab, usually made from ground beef or mutton with various spices in the shape of a patty. It originates from Peshawar in northwest Pakistan, and is also known as the Peshawari kebab.

The chapli kebab is a popular barbecue and street food throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Pakistan, as well as in India and eastern Afghanistan. It can be served and eaten hot with naan bread, rice, or in buns and sandwiches such as a bun kebab.

Mughal culinary influences in the region popularised a number of kebab dishes, resulting in local recipes such as the chapli kebab. The name chapli is said to be derived from the Pashto word chaprikh, meaning “flat” – alluding to the kebab’s light, round and flattened texture. Another theory is that the name is derived from chappal, the local word for sandals – implying the average shape and size of a kebab, which resembles that of a front part of the chappal sole.

The city of Peshawar, where the recipe took hold, alone has over 2,000 kebab houses that serve the chapli kebab. Such eateries have rapidly expanded in other cities as well. Today, the chapli kebab is featured on the menu of South Asian restaurants across the world.

The chapli kebab is prepared with raw, marinated mince and the meat can be either beef or lamb/mutton. The main ingredients include wheat flour, different herbs and spices such as garam masala and chili powder, coriander leaves, followed by smaller quantities of onions, tomatoes, eggs, ginger, coriander or cumin seeds, green chillies, corn starch, salt and pepper, baking powder, as well as a seasoning of lemon juice or pomegranate seeds.

The kebabs can be fried shallow or deep in vegetable cooking oil over medium heat. Some chefs fry the kebabs in lamb fat over wood-fired stoves to lend an organic flavour. This approach is avoided by other gastronomists, citing health-conscious reasons.

Once cooked, chapli kebabs can be served and garnished with parsley, chopped onions and tomatoes, along with other accompaniments such as various chutney sauces, salad, yoghurt, pickles or nuts. The chapli kebab is best served aromatic, moist and spicy. It is considered a specialty of Pashtun cuisine and often served to guests. The kebab is commonly consumed in meals with bread such as naan, rice dishes such as Kabuli pulao, or wrapped in fast food. In winters, green tea such as kahwah may traditionally be served alongside it, while cold drinks are preferred in the summers.



  • 2 lbs. ground beef (no less than 20% fat)
  • 1 ½ cups finely diced green onion (both white and green parts)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro (stems are fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Fire up the grill until it’s nice and hot.
  2. In the mean time mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand for at least 5 minutes. Pretend it is bread dough and knead the meat. Set the timer so you won’t cut the time short. It’s very important that all the ingredients are mixed well and the meat takes on a smooth texture.
  3. Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll into balls. Pat the meat to form burgers that are about 1/4-inch thick and 4 inches in diameter, or larger if you like. Cook each side on your BBQ for about 5 minutes or until its cooked all the way through and juicy. While there is no “medium rare’ in the Afghan vocabulary, be careful not to overcook them. If you don’t have a bbq, no worries, simply cook the kebabs in a lightly oiled skillet for about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve with warm pita bread, salad and a dollop of yogurt.

Makes 8 patties

(Source from:



  • 1 kg minced meat
  • 1 cup mutton fat
  • 1 cup crushed pomegranate
  • ½ cup solid pomegranate
  • 6 eggs
  • salt to taste
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 3 tomatoes
  • green coriander to taste
  • green chilies to taste
  • 1 kg Onions
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp red chili powder


  1. Fine chop the onions and drain them well. Mix them well into the meat with all other ingredients also. Scramble 3 eggs and add them to the meat.
  2. Make the meat into kebabs with your hands and fry them in a pan.
  3. Take them out on a plate and garnish with tomatoes.

(Recipe’ source:


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