Chapli Kabab
Chapli Kebab.jpg
Lamb Chapli Kabab served at a Balti restaurant in Birmingham, UK
Alternative namesPeshawari Chapli Kabab
CourseAppetiser, main course or side dish
Place of originPeshawar, Pakistan[1]
Associated cuisinePakistani,[1] Afghan,[1] Indian,[1] Bangladeshi[2]
Main ingredientsMinced beef, mutton, or chicken
Ingredients generally usedVarious herbs and spices
Similar dishesBurgers

Chapli Kebab or Chapli Kabab (Pashto: چپلي کباب)[α][β] is a Pashtun-style minced kebab, usually made from ground beef, mutton or chicken with various spices in the shape of a patty. The Chapli Kabab originally comes from the northern areas of Pakistan, in particular Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Pekhawri Chapli Kabab is made with beef and is a popular street food throughout South Asia, including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.[1][2]

Originally made with beef in Peshawar, it can now be found with chicken and lamb as well. Depending on region, Chapli Kabab recipe has evolved, adding regional spices to it. But in Peshawar, Chapli Kababs are still prepared with minimum ingredients.

In India, Chapli Kabab can also be found as street food in the cities of Bhopal, Lucknow, Delhi and Hyderabad; where Muslims have a denser population.[3]

Chapli Kababs are broadly consumed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. But it is most popular during the time of Eid-ul Azha and in ramadan as part of iftar.[2][4]

Chapli Kababs can be served and eaten hot with naan or as a bun kebab.[1]


Mughal culinary influences in the region popularised a number of kebab dishes, resulting in local recipes such as the Chapli Kebab.[1] The name chapli is said to be derived from the Pashto word chaprikh/chapdikh/chapleet, meaning "flat" – alluding to the kebab's light, round and flattened texture.[1] 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, or it seems to have been flattened by a sandal. Locals mostly agree with the first theory of Chapli being a short version of Chapleet (aka, Chapdikh). [5]

Chapli Kabab is served in thousands of kebab houses throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan[6] 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.[6]

Ingredients and preparation

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, various herbs and spices such as 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 and citric juice, like that of lime or lemon.[7][1]

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 some gastronomist, citing health-conscious reasons.[8]


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.[9][10][11] The Chapli Kebab is best served aromatic, moist and spicy.[12] It is considered a specialty of Pashtun cuisine and often served to guests.[13] The kebab is commonly consumed in meals with bread such as naan, rice dishes such as Kabuli pulao, or wrapped in fast food.[6] In winters, green tea such as kahwah may traditionally be served alongside it, while cold drinks are preferred in the summers.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Urdu: چپلی کباب
  2. ^ Hindi: चपली कबाब


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Khan, Palwasha (2021-01-23). "Eating Chapli Kababs in Northern Pakistan". The Localist. Archived from the original on 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  2. ^ a b c "Dhaka shops selling iftar delicacies". Bangla Tribune. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  3. ^ "Chapli Kebab: The Flat Minced Meat Marvel Is An Explosion of Flavours You Must Not Miss".
  4. ^ "'Chapli Kebab' - Alpana Habib". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  5. ^ Mittmann, Karin; Ihsan, Zafar (1991). Culture Shock!: Pakistan. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company. p. 104. ISBN 9781558680593.
  6. ^ a b c d Shinwari, Sher Alam (13 October 2013). "On the menu: Krazy about (Chapli) kebab". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. ^ Burman, Divya. "Peshawari Chappali Kebab". NDTV Food. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ Malik, Shiza (27 July 2015). "Khyber's most delicious export". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ Usmani, Sumayya. "Beef chapli kebab with pomegranate chutney". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  10. ^ Webb, Lois Sinaiko; Roten, Lindsay Grace (2009). The Multicultural Cookbook for Students. ABC-CLIO. p. 102. ISBN 9780313375590.
  11. ^ Agha, Bilal (25 March 2016). "Weekend grub: Could these chapli kebabs from Peshawar be the best in Pakistan?". Dawn. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. ^ Dupree, Louis (2014). Afghanistan. Princeton University Press. p. 231. ISBN 9781400858910.
  13. ^ Khaliq, Fazal (16 February 2012). "Comfort food: Keeping warm with kebabs". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2016.