Chapli kebab is not only best of all Pakistani food, but it’s one of the world’s greatest foods.
Sometimes known as “Peshawari Kebab,” this is a dish that is literally pilgrimage worthy. There is so much flavor in this hand-formed deep-fat-fried patty, it just boggles the mind.
Often made with buffalo meat, the mince is kneaded through with dry spices and often a few fresh ingredients, like white onions and cilantro. Some versions add tomato, but wherever we had them I could always taste cumin seeds, wonderfully strong black pepper, and often hints of cardamom.
Popular in street-food stalls throughout Pakistan, you’ll probably find the best chapli kebabs at Taru, Jabba, outside the town of Peshawar (Western province of Khyber-Pahtunkwa).
The word kabab is said to originate from the Arabic language, but the Persians, Turks and central Asians also lay claim to it. It means to fry, burn or cook on a skewer through grilling or open fire cooking. Kababs in the west are mostly served on a skewer or donar kabab with a side of pilaf or middle Eastern pita bread. Though in the subcontinent, there are more than a dozen popular kabab recipes; shami, boti, seekh, Bihari, galavati, all come a close second to the Peshawari Chapli Kabab.