PakistaniArabianBeefCuisineEverything ElseFriedGrilledMainsMeatQuick & Easy

Best Chapli Kabab Recipe

20 mins Cook
Scroll to recipe
Chapli kabab nomnomwow

We always make Chapli kabab on special occasions like Eid or any birthday parties. We all are crazy about Chapli kabab.

Ramsha Baig

What Are Chapli Kabab?

Chapli kabab are skinny ground beef patties made with aromatics and spices. not like your usual grilled kababs, Chapli Kabab are fried so they’re browned at the outdoor and smooth from the inside.

Chapli Kabab have a completely unique taste, with ingredients like dried pomegranate seeds (anardana) to lend them a moderate tang and coarsely floor coriander to enhance their already crispy outdoors.

At the start a delicacy across the Afghanistan and Pakistan frontier, they may be now a famous road food and eating place favourite.

It’s right here! A Chapli Kabab recipe that’s simple and easy to make yet tastes love it’s from an Afghan or Pakistani restaurant. This recipe consists of guidelines on a way to get them crisp and juicy without breaking to perfection!

You can also try my recipes of Koobideh kabab, Iraqi Chicken Quarters or Joojeh kabab.

The Top 3 Tips for Best Chapli Kabab

Here are my top tips to make next-level Chapli Kabab with the perfect texture:

  1. Overcooking (overfrying?) = crumbly, tough, dry kabab.
    What makes restaurant Chapli kabab so soft and bendy (besides the excess amounts of fat? A shorter frying time! So, once the exterior is nice and crusty and interior is just cooked, remove from heat. As soon as it’s overcooked, there goes the softness.
  2. More hot oil = more browning. This is why street vendors straight deep fry them.
  3. Think flat & thin. Chapli Kabab aren’t thick, stubby hamburger patties. Try get them thin (~1/3 inch), and if they start to shrink or puff up while cooking, flatten them with the back of a spoon or spatula. Don’t worry about making them perfectly round. Rough edges add character!

Origins of Chapli Kabab

Chapli Kabab originate from Peshawar, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (the equal place that’s produced some of my favorites foods like Karahi).

At the same time as there’s no established tale about their beginning, the ingredients replicate the culinary taste of the North Pakistan/East Afghanistan place – simple, no longer overtly highly spiced, but so flavorful.

Why They’re Called ‘Chapli’ Kabab

Here are two theories:

  1. One theory (endorsed by the blog Afghan Cooks) is that Chapli is a derivation of the Pashto word “chaprikh”, meaning flat.
  2. The other theory is that it gets its name from its oval-shaped resemblance to a “chapal“, or slipper, in Urdu & Dari. (This explains why many people call them Chapal Kabab.)

Ingredients in Chapli Kabab

Only two of the required ingredients warrant a trip to the Desi Grocery Store:

  • Dried Pomegranate seeds (Anardana): These are a key ingredient that help make Chapli Kabab..well..Chapli Kabab. They add a slight tang and crunch. I love adding the full 2 tablespoons (more than most recipes!) but you can decrease to one tablespoon to make them more subtle.
    • If you positively don’t like the crunch, a great substitute is 2-3 teaspoons of pomegranate powder or even pomegranate molasses.
  • Corn Flour (Makki ka atta) or Gram flour (Besan): Helps bind the kababs while enhancing the taste. Though some authentic recipes insist corn flour (which is like cornmeal but finer) is the only way to go, I know gram flour/besan (different from chickpea flour) is much more likely to already be in your pantry. Plus, I tested it & they both work perfectly well.

The rest of the ingredients are more commonly available. Here are notes on most of them:

  • Ground Beef: Restaurants and street vendors use much more fat than we’re accustomed to. I suggest using regular ground beef (20% fat), but you can get away with as low as 12% fat.
  • Whole Spices:
  • Coriander Seeds – Add texture and subtle flavor. 3 tablespoons may seem like an aggressive amount, but trust me – my favorite Afghan restaurants do this. I’ve just followed suit.
  • Cumin seeds – Another essential.
  • Carom Seeds – Optional – Use if you already have them!
  • Red chili flakes: These add textured spice rather than making the kababs very spicy. Add more if you’d like more spicy!
  • Green chili peppers: Used for color and heat. I use Thai/birds eye or Serrano, but you can use jalapeño or any other type of green chili.
  • Red onion: Adds moisture, texture, and taste. You can sub yellow or other onion, but I like the taste and how they don’t release too much excess moisture. If your onions happen to be too watery, squeeze out the moisture before adding to the kababs.
  • Spring onions (scallions): One of my favorite Afghan restaurants in Houston uses only spring onions. I adore the complex flavor they add along with the red onion.
  • Tomato: For texture, freshness, and subtle tart-sweet flavor. Because they release moisture, it’s important to finely dice them instead of blitzing in a food processor. Some kabab houses take a slice of tomato and slap it on one side of the kabab while frying. Tried it. Prefer tomatoes intermingling.
  • Raw egg: Binds and moistens kababs. In some recipes, you’ll also find coarsely crushed pieces of soft-boiled or scrambled eggs in the kababs, which is meant to make them more tender. I tried adding & didn’t find them worth the effort.
  • Oil: Many recipes use ghee (or even tallow fat) to fry them. I find it gets heavy & overpowering with ghee, so I stick to oil.
  • Garlic + Ginger: Very finely chop/mince these using a food processor. You can also crush using a mortar & pestle.

How to Make Chapli Kabab

  • Toast & grind the spices. Toasting deepens the flavor even as putting off the raw taste of the spices. add them to a spice grinder (or even a food processor) together with the pomegranate seeds. kind of overwhelm.
  • Toast the corn flour or gram flour. again, enhances the nutty taste of the corn flour. you can likely escape with no longer toasting, however I toast. It takes five minutes. you may do it. Or not. comply with your heart on this one.
  • COMBINE O F the ingredients in a bowl, inclusive of the prepped ones above.
  • Blend/knead the dough vigorously until you could see the stringy texture of the beef. you could additionally use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to try this.
  • Fry! There are 2 approaches to do that. the first one is apparent. form into patties. but, if you could, ruin them directly on the pan.
  • Serve without delay with a sprinkle of ground coriander and cilantro.

How to Make Chapli Kabab Soft and Tender

Don’t skimp on fats. 20% is good, however you can break out with 12% and still have them maintain shape.
Like I mentioned in advance, strive no longer to prepare dinner for too long as which could dry out the beef. As soon because the outside is crusty, cast off from heat.
Egg provides softness, so if the combination seems dry, strive adding a bit more.

How to Prevent Chapli Kabab From Breaking

Here are 3 key tips to prevent Chapli Kabab from falling apart:

  1. Knead the mixture so it’s homogenous instead of crumbly. Same technique as Seekh Kabab – kneading the meat helps bind the meat proteins (similar to how gluten binds flour!).
  2. Squeeze out any moisture from the tomatoes and onions and drain out any moisture from the ground beef (pat dry with a paper towel if needed). If you think moisture is what’s breaking them, add an extra tablespoon of corn flour or besan.
  3. Flip carefully. Slide your spatula all the way underneath the kababs and use another small spatula to hold the kababs in place. (See video for visual instruction.) If needed, make them smaller so they’re easier to turn.

How to Store & Reheat Chapli Kabab

You may store the aggregate or fashioned kababs inside the fridge, airtight, up to an afternoon. you can also refrigerate for 1-2 days after frying them. when equipped to serve, both reheat within the microwave, lightly fry, or air-fry the kababs to help get the crisp lower back.

How to Thaw

When ready to fry: Both thaw within the refrigerator for six-7 hours or permit to sit at room temperature for an hour or two. for a quick defrost, I’ve tried the usage of the defrost putting within the microwave to in part defrost and that worked high-quality. try now not to microwave on high/normal setting as they could lose too much moisture. Fry as you typically might.

How to Serve Chapli Kabab

Traditionally, they’re served with naan or roti with mint raita on the side. Many Afghan restaurants here in Houston serve it with rice or a simple pulao or challow.

They also make great Chapli Kabab burgers. If making them on the grill, try omitting tomatoes or using more gram/corn flour to hold them up. You can use a grill liner or aluminum foil with holes which allows for easier cooking and flipping. Try serving them alongside the usual toppings and sriracha mayo! So good!


Can I substitute ground beef with ground lamb, chicken, etc.?

Of course! To keep them moist, try using chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.

Can I bake or air-fry?

I wouldn’t bake but you could try broiling. I haven’t tried air-frying, but I think it’d work well (better than baking). Rough recipe – place the kabab in a single layer leaving room on both sides. Cook at 400°F for around 3 min, until browned. Then turn and air-fry until cooked through (roughly 2 min).

How to Double?

Double all the ingredients. Click the 2x or 3x button on the recipe card and it’ll adjust the quantities for you. Replace frying oil as needed if it starts to darken.

Best Chapli Kabab Recipe

Best Chapli Kabab Recipe

Chapli kabab are skinny ground beef patties made with aromatics and spices. not like your usual grilled kababs, Chapli Kabab are fried so they’re browned at the outdoor and smooth from the inside.
prep time
20 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
40 mins



  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

  • ¼ tsp carom seeds – ajwain, optional – use if you have it

  • 1.5-2 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds, anardana – See Note 1

  • 3 tbsp (25 g) corn flour (makai ka atta) or gram flour (besan)

  • 1 lb (454 g) ground beef, 20% fat – not lean

  • 1/2 medium red onion (150 g)

  • 2 (30 g) green onions (scallions),chopped

  • 2-4 small (5 g) green chili peppers, finely chopped

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

  • ½-3/4 inch ginger, finely chopped or crushed

  • ¼ cup (8-10 g) cilantro leaves (fresh coriander), finely chopped

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 egg, whisked

  • 1 small (70-100 g) Roma tomatoes – See Note 2

  • neutral oil, for frying

  • Garnish

  • ground coriander

  • cilantro leaves

  • lemon wedges, to serve alongside

  • Cilantro/Mint Raita (Yogurt Chutney), optional – to serve alongside


  • Skillet (preferably cast iron but any will do)

  • Large Spatula (for turning the kababs)

  • Spice Grinder or Food Processor (for roughly crushing spices)


Heat a small to medium skillet over medium-low heat. add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and carom seeds (if the usage of). Toast, stirring and shaking the skillet regularly, for 3-four mins. The seeds will deepen in color and emerge as exceptionally fragrant. put off from heat and switch to a spice grinder, meals processor, or mortar and pestle. add pomegranate seeds to the spice grinder. Pulse to kind of grind four-five times (you don’t want a first-class powder, just kind of crushed up seeds).
inside the identical skillet over medium heat, add the corn flour or chickpea flour. Toast till it deepens in color and smells toasty (~4-5 minutes). flip off the warmth and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, add the floor beef together with the ultimate ingredients (ground coriander mixture, toasted corn flour, red onion, green onion, green chili pepper, cilantro, garlic, ginger, crimson chili flakes, red chili powder, black pepper, salt, egg, and tomatoes (if the usage of)).
The use of gloved fingers (strive not to use bare fingers or the inexperienced chili may also sting), knead for 3-4 minutes, till you start to see a lacy, stringy texture (resha) of the meat. (instead, you could use the paddle attachment of a food processor and knead on medium velocity for two-three mins.) The mixture ought to be homogenous rather than crumbly. cover and set apart or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Heat a forged iron skillet over excessive heat. add enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the skillet.
To test a piece for flavor, vicinity a chunk of the red meat mixture on the pan to cook, turning over as wished. taste and adjust salt and seasoning if favored.
The use of oiled hands, take around 1/4 cup heaped (~90g) of the beef and shape right into a hearty round shape.

Alternative 1 –

Place the round ball on the hot forged iron and use the flat a part of a strong spatula to press it down until it's miles four.five inches in diameter and no greater than 1/three-inch/¾-cm thick.

Option 2 –

Use your fingers to shape the patties till they’re four.five inches in diameter and no greater than 1/3-inch/¾-cm thick. place on hot pan.
Use a spoon or small spatula to flatten and unfold (uneven sides add individual!). Fry for 1 ½ to 2 mins on each facet, using your spatula or a spoon to push oil on top of the kabab. Do not overcook. You need it crispy and charred on the outdoor and simply cooked at the inside. (internal temp one hundred sixty°F/seventy one°C)
Turn over by means of lifting the kabab the use of a huge spatula and small spatula to maintain it in place (see video!). transfer to a paper towel-covered plate. If the mixture isn't binding nicely enough, add 1 tbsp of corn flour or gram flour. Fry remaining kababs, changing the oil if it begins to darken.
Garnish with a sprinkle of floor coriander and cilantro. Serve without delay with mint raita and lemon on the facet.


Note 1: Dried Pomegranate seeds (Anardana): These are a key ingredient that help make Chapli Kabab..well..Chapli Kabab. They add a slight tang and crunch. I love adding the full 2 tablespoons (more than most recipes!) but you can decrease to 1 tablespoon to make them more subtle. If you positively don’t like the crunch, a great substitute is 2-3 teaspoons of pomegranate powder or even pomegranate molasses. Note 2: Tomatoes: Use a firm, not too ripe tomato. I considered making the tomato optional because my favorite restaurants don’t include them. I’m assuming one of the reasons is that they add too much moisture and can cause breakage. That’s why it’s best to finely chop them and drain of any moisture before adding. If storing these in the fridge, try adding the tomatoes right before frying. Nutrition Facts are per Kabab, assuming 10 Kababs (not including oil).
You may also like
ArabianBakedCuisineIndianItalianMainsPakistaniQuick & Easy

Lemon Tart

20 mins Cook
What gives this Lemon Tart its exceptional quality? It’s the lemon curd filling. It strikes a harmonious balance between sweetness and tartness, and its custard-like texture effortlessly dissolves in your mouth. This timeless French tart is both elegant and visually appealing, yet its filling is incredibly uncomplicated, consisting solely of eggs, sugar, butter, and fresh lemon!
ArabianCuisineFrenchIndianItalianQuick & Easy

Healthy Creamy Zucchini Soup

20 mins Cook
You don’t require a substantial amount of cream to create a Creamy Zucchini Soup because the natural consistency of cooked zucchini seamlessly transforms it into a rich and velvety soup. This delightful bowl of warmth not only pleases your taste buds but also boasts a modest calorie count of just 220 per generous serving, or a mere 98 calories if you opt to omit the cream!
ChineseCuisineDips and SaucesFrenchIndianItalianKoreanMainsQuick & Easy

Chinese Zucchini Pancakes

20 mins Cook
Chinese food for breakfast? Absolutely! I can assure you that breakfast in Asian countries is far more intriguing than a simple combination of toast and cereal, not to mention much more delightful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Iraqi Grilled Chicken Quarters

40 mins Cook