Chapli kebabs are my ultimate fave in kebabs. I can eat them everyday and I love the sheer taste of the whole spices!
There is something about the preparation, the ingredients, the spices and the process of shallow frying that reminds me of the kebabs made at home in the 70s.
I don’t fry my kebabs any more, I tend to grill them more often, unless I am making chapli kebabs. Then they need to be shallow fried, gently until they crisp up on the outside and are lovely and juicy inside.
The chapli kebabs make the best burgers in my opinion and they taste delicious on their own or with a nice salad and flatbread.
The recipe below is an old tried and tested one that I always use and have done so from the time I discovered Chapli kebabs in the 80’s. It is authentic as I could make them and I stick to this recipe now as in my view they are just perfect for me.
This is the only time onions make me cry.
Squeezing the water out of the minced onions! Don’t skip the process, it makes a difference to the end product! I use my mini chopper now, there was a time when I used to spend ages mincing onions by hand!
I used chicken mince today, usually I would use mutton leg mince, with good ratio of mutton mixed mince which which has some fat. So I add 25g of butter to the chicken mix.
Traditional recipes include pomegranate seeds. They do add a tang but they are optional. You can use pomegranite powder if you have it but I grind mine with coriander and Ajwain seeds if I use them whole.
The one thing I would ask is that you have both the whole coriander seeds and ajwain as in my view they make the kebabs and without them they just aren’t Chapli kebabs!
My youngest prefers chicken to red meat hence the deviation but they are fabulous whichever mince you opt for!
Hope you give these a go and enjoy them as much as I do.
What you will need:
1 kg mince with 25% fat
3 medium onions very finely minced and juice squeezed out. (do not blend)
2 green chilies finely minced
fresh coriander finely chopped.
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
1 tsp crushed carom seeds 1 tsp pomegranate seeds or powder
2 1/2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp crushed cumin and seeds
2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 a tsp black pepper
salt to taste
1 tbsp of plain flour
oil for shallow frying
In a bowl place your mince. Add to this your minced onions, fresh chillies, fresh finely chopped coriander, your finely chopped tomatoes.
Now in a coffee grinder add your carom seeds, coriander seeds, pomegranate seeds and cumin seeds and crush all the spices. Add this to your mince.
Add the chilli flakes, cumin powder, garam masala, black pepper, salt, flour and egg and butter to the chicken mince.
Really mix this well, kneading the meat so that it bruises the protein and ingredients well. If you’re using chicken you will know when its fully incorporated because the butter will have totally blended in to the mince. This kneading part is important, give it a good workout.
Let it sit and marinate for at least 2 hrs but preferably as long as possible.
To Make The Kebabs:
Heat some veg oil in a large flat frying pan.
Take a small bowl of water and wet your palms and hands.
Take a large ball of mince and use a plate or a lid as your template and flatten your kebab so its large and 1cm flat.
Gently slide this using a fish slice into the oil and fry on medium heat.
Fry till crispy and brown on the outside and lovely and juicy inside.
Use 2 fish slice or a palette knife to carefully turn them over. Continue to fry on medium heat so they cook through but don’t dry. Aim for a caramel brown type colour.
Remove with slotted spoon and let them sit for a few minutes.
The Coriander and Carom are really important elements that make the dish. Don’t miss out either.
If you want, sprinkle half tsp of whole Carom seeds at the end into the mince for a lovely bite…
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