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‘In Peshawar, there’s nothing more beloved than chapli kabab’

Chapli Kabab - In Peshawar, there is nothing more tasty than it

Many of Peshawar’s cuisines are famous all over the world, but “Peshawari Chapli Kabab” is a household name in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

PESHAWAR: Many of Peshawar’s cuisines are famous but “Peshawari Chapli Kabab” is household name in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Chapli Kabab has a unique place because it is easily available for both rich and poor. Every bazaar in Peshawar, Food Street and every village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have chapli kabab shops.

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Made in a large frying pan, is one of the foods known for its flavor as well as its appetizing aroma. Kababs are made from beef or buffalo meat. First the meat is minced, then corn flour, spices and salt are added as required. Kababs used to be made in animal fat but after the Peshawar high court order, most of the famous shops now use cooking oil.

It is not known how and from where Chapli Kabab entered Peshawar. However, Qari Javed Iqbal writes in his book “Saqafat-e-Sarhad: Tareekh ke Ayenay mein” that the people of India were vegetarians. But all the invaders from the West were carnivores. They include Mughals, Turks, Ghaznavis and Afghans. When they conquered India, they introduced meat in local cuisines in new ways. Qari Javed writes that the Mughals made meat a cultural dish by adding various spices to it. He wrote that since the invaders first home was in Peshawar, this dish got popularity in the city.

The Kabab has got international recognition. “When you’re talking about meat in Khyber Paktunkhwa, there is nothing, I mean nothing, more beloved than the chapli kabab – the life-changing King of all meat patties”. Famous food blogger Mark Wiens Mark wrote. “Possibly one of the best meat dishes I have ever had in my entire life.”

In Peshawar, kababs are available at the official rate of Rs500 per kg, which is enough for four persons.  

The most famous chapli kabab house in Peshawar was Karim Kababi in Nothia. However, Kababi shops near Bakhshu Pul, Jalil Kababi in Firdous Bazaar, Rambel Kabab house in Taru Jabba on GT Road and Umar Kabab house in Saddar has recently gained widespread popularity. Some researchers are of the view that the first kabab shop in Bakhshu Pul was opened in 1920 by a man identified as Juma Khan. After independence in 1947, Juma Khan’s son Abdul Jalil opened a kabab shop in Firdous Bazaar, which is now famous across the country as Jalil Kabab house.

Jalil kabab house is now 65 years old and it has six branches in Peshawar. “People from all over the country order chapli kababs,” Jalil Kabab owner Haji Mahfooz said. “Whenever tourists visit the city, they do not left Peshawar without chapli kababs.” He said earlier, there used to be few famous shops but now there are hundreds of Kabab shops in the city. The demand for chapali kababs increases in winter and most people prefer to eat kababs in the evening.

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