This chapli kabab recipe is made using minced beef with special spices using an easy cooking method. It is a popular street food in my homeland, Pakistan, and often referred to as Chapal Kabab as well. Serve these kababs hot along with your favorite dip, bread and salad as a main course. This is my all time favorite and never-fail-to-inspire recipe !
Kababs (or kabobs) have a special place in Pakistani cuisine but these Chapli Kabab have to be there on the top because they are special and totally deserve the spot.
Chapli kababs are also known as Peshawari Kababs because of its relevance to the famous old city of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan), where this recipe originated.
Table of Contents
why this recipe works?
- This Chapli Kabab recipe is a super easy.
- Prepare the Chapli Kabab mixture with some basic ingredients.
- These fried patties of ground meat have golden brown exterior and a soft and pillowy interior.
- These kababs have high protein and fat content. What makes them so juicy? The high-fat content in the meat gives you the perfectly soft and pillowy kababs.
- These Chapli kebab recipe gets it taste from dried pomegranate seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. These whole spices add a unique and super delicious taste to the kababs.
the name 'chapli kabab'
There are two different theories about the name 'Chapli Kabab'.
The name Chapli Kabab originated from Pashto language (largely spoken in Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan). Pashto words Chaprikh, Chapdikh or Chapleet means 'flat', referring to the flat patty or flat kabab.
The other theory is that the kababs got the name from Urdu word 'Chappal' meaning 'slipper'.
ingredients & substitutes for chapli kabab
- Beef (Ground with 30 % fat content): use fresh ground or minced beef. If using frozen meat, put it in a sieve and let the excess moisture and water drain out.
- Red Onions: Chop it as omelette cut. Use a food processor to do it. Onion adds moisture and taste to the Chapli Kababs. White onions can be used instead of the red onions for this Beef Chapli Kebab.
- Green Chilies: chop them finely. They add flavor and spice.
- Corn Flour: or maize flour to make the kababs crispier and to help them hold their shape. Gram Flour also known as Besan in Pakistan and India, can be substituted in 1:1 ratio for corn flour (Makki ka atta). However, I always feel that corn flour lets the mince beef hold its shape better during frying.
- Coriander leaves: fresh cilantro or coriander leaves adds a load of flavor.
- Egg: helps in binding and adds fat content.
- Chopped Tomatoes: chop them into small pieces using a knife. Do not use a food processor for it or the tomatoes will be too watery and make the meat mixture wet.
- Pomegranate seeds: use the dry pomegranate seeds a must have ingredient for this recipe. Crush them in the spice grinder lightly before adding to the kabab mixture.
- Cumin seeds + Coriander seeds: Roast them in a small frying pan at medium heat for 2 - 4 minute until they turn brown and you can feel the aroma. Take them off the heat and add to a spice grinder and crush roughly. This adds a lot of flavor.
- Garlic + Ginger: chop the garlic and ginger into small pieces.
- Tomato Slice: to press on the Peshawari Kabab while frying as the traditional recipe calls for. You can absolutely skip this step.
- Oil: for frying. Traditionally cooks use tallow fat in Pakistan and Afghanistan but any vegetable oil or canola oil will do.
- Carom seeds
- Red chili flakes or powder
- Garam masala powder
- Turmeric powder
- Mint leaves: add a handful of mint leaves to the minced beef to make it more flavorful.
- Egg: Traditionally in Pakistan and Afghanistan the street vendors beat the eggs and simply fry them until they change color just like scrambled eggs or simple omelette. They cut it into pieces and add to the kabab beef mixture. You can try making the kababs this way too, however, I prefer adding the raw egg to the beef mixture only.
- Cayenne Pepper: Add cayenne pepper if you prefer hot and spicy kababs.
how to make chapli kabab
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Combine the meet and all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover the marinated mixture for 2 - 3 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Form a beef patty on the palm of your hand.
4. Place a tomato slice in the middle of the patty.
5. Fry the kababs for about 8 minute (3 - 4 minutes each side)
6. Flip the kababs with care. The kababs are ready when they have a crunchy golden color exterior.
- Traditionally this recipe goes great with Mint Raita, a Pakistani side for main courses.
- These kababs are great with my Roghni Naan or this simple Pita Bread.
- Make them as Chapli Kabab Burgers as they taste great as well. I make them all the time.
Lean Meat: Avoid using lean meat as it will make it harder for the Chapli kababs to hold their shape during frying, and will also give you dry and tough kababs. If your meat does not have 20 % fat then add 1 tablespoon of melted butter or clarified butter in the lean beef.
Marinate for 2 - 3 hours: Once the beef mixture is ready, place it in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours so that the spices can infuse well into the beef meat. It is optional and you can skip this step but the taste and texture with marinated beef will be better.
Knead Properly: The trick to soft kababs is to knead the kabab mixture for at least 4 - 6 minutes. The kneading helps to bind the meat proteins together and to incorporate the spices better. Remember the mixture should be homogenous and not crumbly at all as it will break the kababs while frying.
Avoid Moisture: Avoid moisture at any cost in these kababs. Squeeze out the moisture of the onions and tomatoes before adding to the meat. Make sure to drain excess water from beef beforehand as well. If you feel that the meat is wet add one tablespoon of corn flour to it and mix.
Thickness: The thickness depends on your preference as well but I like them somewhere between thin and thick and keep them around ½ an inch in diameter. If your kababs are thicker then that, press them using the flat spatula during frying.
Frying Tip: Fry the kababs over medium heat. Once you put the kabab in the frying pan wait for the bubbles bursting around the edges. Once the kababs change their color to golden brown around the edges, flip them carefully using a big flat spatula. The total frying time can be around 8 - 10 minutes (4 - 5 minutes each side).
Avoid Overbrowning: Take out the kababs when they have a golden color on the top. Do not overbrown them as it will result in tough and dry kababs.
Avoid Over Crowding: of kababs in the pan. Over crowding will make the cooking uneven.
Do not leave the kababs frying for longer time in the frying pan. You have to take them out once they turn golden brown. If you think the kababs are getting brown too quickly, reduce the heat or even take the pan off the heat for a couple of minutes.
Yes for sure. Chicken chapli kabab are super delicious and equally good. Make sure the ground chicken comes out of the machine finely. The fine the minced chicken is the better the texture of the kababs will be. Chicken kababs take less time to fry than the beef kababs and also they will be less brown due to less fat content in chicken meat.
This is the reason I recommend freezing the fried Chapli Kababs instead of freezing raw kababs. The tomatoes and onion in the kababs can release water while you thawing.
I do not suggest it and one should avoid washing the meat. It will grow bacteria through cross-contamination.
Yes and you are not mistaken I use 3 tablespoons for a reason. The coriander seeds adds aroma and flavor, and also the half crushed seeds adds to the texture of the kababs. Don't be afraid and go ahead and use the ratio mentioned in the recipe. You won't be disappointed.
how to store
- Chapli Kababs (Fried): Keep the fried kababs in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Arrange the fried kababs on the baking tray and put it in the freezer. Once they have hardened, take them out, put it in a ziploc bag and place it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Chapli Kababs (Uncooked): You can freeze the uncooked beef mixture using the above method as well.
related main course recipes
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- large bowl
- Frying pan
- flat spoon
- 2 lbs minced beef
- 1 red onion (medium sized) (150 - 170 g)
- 1 tomato (large) (180 g)
- 1 tablespoon dry pomegranate seeds (28 g)
- 2 tablespoon corn flour (25 g)
- 3 tablespoon coriander seeds (18 g)
- 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds (10 g)
- 1 cup coriander leaves (16 g)
- 1 egg (large)
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or powder (3 g)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (5 g)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (3 g)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (chopped) (2.8 g)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (chopped) (2 g)
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds
- In a large bowl add minced beef and all the spices and ingredients.
- Mix well for 5 - 6 minutes.
- Let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours. It is optional but will add a lot of flavor.
- Add oil in the frying pan at medium heat. Form the patties in your hand and put them in oil. Fry the patty for 3 - 4 minutes until the edges are golden brown then flip it carefully. Fry the other side for another 3 - 4 minutes until golden brown.