Chapli kebab

Chapli Kabab/Kebab

A plate of (Chicken) chapli kebabs with garnish
Alternative names Chapli Kebab, Peshawari Kebab
Type Kebab
Course Appetiser, main course or side dish
Place of origin Peshawar and surrounding areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Region or state South Asia
Associated national cuisine Pakistani, Afghan, Pashtun
Main ingredients Minced beef
Ingredients generally used Various herbs and spices
Similar dishes Seekh kebab
Cookbook: Chapli Kabab/Kebab  Media: Chapli Kabab/Kebab
Chapli kebab served at a Balti restaurant in Birmingham, UK.

Chapli kabab or Chapli kebab (Pashto: چپلي کباب)[lower-greek 1] is a Pashtun-style minced kebab, usually made from ground beef. Variations include 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, outside of KPK.[1][2]

The Chapli kebab is a popular street food throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Pakistan, as well as in eastern Afghanistan and northern India.[2] It can be served and eaten hot with naan bread, rice, or in buns/rolls, namely bun kebab.[2]


Mughal culinary influences in the region popularised a number of kebab dishes, resulting in local recipes such as the chapli kebab.[2] The name chapli is said to be derived from the Pashto word chaprdikh or chaprdit, meaning "flat" – alluding to the kebab's light, round and flattened texture.[2] 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.[3]

The city of Peshawar, where the recipe took hold, alone has over 2,000 kebab houses that serve the chapli kebab.[4] 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.[4]

Ingredients and preparation

The Peshawari (made famous by Taru Jaba locals), traditional chapli kebab is prepared with ground beef. The main ingredients include onions, tomatoes, dry/crushed coriander, crushed red pepper and salt. Kebabs are topped with a slice of tomato and optionally served with a deep fried egg cooked in the same oil (animal fat) as the Kebabs.

Variations in recipe of Chapli Kebab have been made famous by Punjabi spice platter. Beef is commonly replaced with Mutton or Chicken. These alternate recipes include ingredients similar to that found in Seekh Kebab (not to be confused with Sheesh Kebab). Coriander leaves, Wheat flour, Baking soda, Cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger and green chillies are some of the additional ingredients that make these alternate versions of Chapli Kebab famous in central and southern Pakistan.[1][2]

The kebabs are fried shallow in Canola or Vegetable cooking oil over medium heat, preferably in a Cast Iron frying pan. Originally the kebabs are fried in lamb fat over wood-fired stoves to lend an authentic flavour. This approach is avoided by other gastronomists, citing health-conscious reasons.[5]


Once cooked, chapli kebabs can be served and garnished with parsley, onions and tomatoes, along with other accompaniments such as various chutney sauces, yoghurt or pickles.[6][7][8] The chapli kebab is best served aromatic, moist and spicy.[9] It is considered a specialty of Pashtun cuisine and often served to guests.[10] The kebab is commonly consumed in meals with bread such as naan, rice dishes such as Kabuli pulao, or wrapped in naan as fast food.[4] In winters, green tea such as kahwah may traditionally be served alongside it, while cold drinks are preferred in the summers.[4]

See also


  1. Urdu: چپلی کباب


  1. 1 2 Burman, Divya. "Peshawari Chappali Kebab". NDTV Food. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tirmizi, Bisma (19 March 2014). "Food Stories: Chapli kabab". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. Mittmann, Karin; Ihsan, Zafar (1991). Culture Shock!: Pakistan. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company. p. 104. ISBN 9781558680593.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Shinwari, Sher Alam (13 October 2013). "On the menu: Krazy about (Chapli) kebab". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. Malik, Shiza (27 July 2015). "Khyber's most delicious export". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. Usmani, Sumayya. "Beef chapli kebab with pomegranate chutney". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. Webb, Lois Sinaiko; Roten, Lindsay Grace (2009). The Multicultural Cookbook for Students. ABC-CLIO. p. 102. ISBN 9780313375590.
  8. Agha, Bilal (25 March 2016). "Weekend grub: Could these chapli kebabs from Peshawar be the best in Pakistan?". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. Dupree, Louis (2014). Afghanistan. Princeton University Press. p. 231. ISBN 9781400858910.
  10. Khaliq, Fazal (16 February 2012). "Comfort food: Keeping warm with kebabs". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
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