If you are American and reading, picture this. The American classic hamburger. Ground beef on the grill. People love it, right? But, imagine adding many more spices and deep frying it so you can get an unforgettably beefy crispy crust? That is the chapli kabab recipe! We love our chapli kabab in Afghanistan.
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I was born in Afghanistan and moved to the US when I was 18 months old. I speak Pashto, native language of the Pashtuns. It just so happens that chapli kebab is a Pashtun dish. The word chapli comes from the Pashtun word chaprikh meaning “flat”. Pashtun people are spread across Afghanistan and Pakistan and so you will see chapli kebab in both countries. (India, too)
The recipe is so simple. If you make this once, your family will demand you make it again and again. The recipe goes great with our recipes for Afghan yogurt sauce, coriander chutney, and Afghan pickles. The rich fried beef with some yogurt and sour chutney, wow. Cannot go wrong. Throw in some fresh cut veggies and some Afghan bread and you have a delicious meal.
Chapli is a staple “street food” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here is a video straight from Kabul:
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You are gonna love these Afghan kabab. Basically, fried hamburgers! Let’s make this chapli kabab recipe.
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion and 10 cloves of garlic food-processed
1.5 Tablespoon chili flake
1.5 Tablespoon ground coriander
1.5 Tablespoon ground cumin
1.5 Teaspoons tumeric
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
big handful of free herbs you have on hand (cilantro, parsley, etc)
1. Take your food processed onions, garlic, and fresh herbs and mixed into the ground meat.
2. Add each of the dry spices and mix thoroughly.
3. Patty each of the hamburger kabobs in a mostly flat shape so that you get the most crispy edges as possible.
4. Take a skillet and fill with enough oil to pan fry the kabob. Fry until the outsides are dark, crispy, and golden brown. That’s when you’ll know the chapli kebab is ready.