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Chapli Kebab

4 Servings

1 hour 30 minutes active

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Chapli kebabs, a popular South Asian street food, are not grilled skewers of meat. Rather, they’re patties of ground meat seasoned with bold aromatics and fragrant spices that are fried on a flat surface until well-browned and crisp on both sides. We add egg to ours to keep the texture rich and tender, plus a little starch to help with binding and browning. Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, is commonly used in chapli kebab, but all-purpose flour works just as well, so use whichever you prefer. The kebabs get a little spiciness and color from Kashmiri chili powder, a vivid-red pure chili powder; cayenne pepper is a fine substitute, but since it runs hotter, you may wish to add the lesser amount. We discovered that if the ground beef is very fine, the patties are liable to puff up as they cook, but pressing on them with a metal spatula during frying helps keep them thin and flat. The kebabs are delicious tucked into warmed flatbread, along with fresh cilantro and sliced onion and tomato, then finished with cool, creamy yogurt.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t cook the kebabs immediately after forming them. The patties are quite thin and delicate; refrigerating them for at least 30 minutes after shaping makes them easier to handle. Also, don’t crank up heat when cooking the patties. Medium heat works well for browning and crisping.

1 hour

30 minutes active

Ingredients

  • 1

    pound 80 percent lean ground beef

  • 1

    medium red onion, half finely chopped, half thinly sliced, reserved separately

Directions

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Reviews
Bodi L.

Super flavorful. They held together perfectly after an hour in the fridge. Subbed parsley for cilantro as that was what in the house, but still delicious. Otherwise prepared and served as directed. I was hoping there would be leftovers, but three of us easily consumed the whole batch.

Sona E.

I loved these! They were super flavorful and easy to make. Especially good with plain yogurt on the side.

Faisal C.

My Pakistani mother taught me this recipe last year, and as her family migrated from Afghanistan, it's fairly similar to the version here. I'd recommend making it with green onions as they are less watery and will make your kabobs stick together better. If you're in a rush and can't wait the recommended 30 minutes to form the kabobs, use disposable gloves, slightly dampened with water (and re-wet as needed). Finally, don't forget the teaspoon of amchoor or anardana (dried, crushed mango powder and pomegranate seeds, respectively)! Their fruity and tart flavors play so well with the coriander, and traditionally whatever is in season is used (mango in the summer, pomegranate in the winter).

Jennifer B.

Not a huge fan, I thought they were sort of bland.

Scott P.

Delicious, but didn't really need the extra vegetable oil for the second batch to cook.

Marianne S.

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