In Pakistan, kabobs are not always cooked on skewers. They are often tender, juicy patties made of minced beef, lamb or chicken and the word chapli comes from the Pashto word for “flat,” a reference to its horizontal appearance. My Father often expresses his love through feeding us his delicious inventions and this recipe is from him. He came up with the idea of adding part-skim mozzarella to chicken chapli kabobs–as weird as it sounds, the cheese blows the dish out of this world, making each patty even more juicy and flavorful.
- 1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breast and thigh meat (ask your butcher to pass it through the grinder twice so it is really fine)
- 1 medium yellow onion- diced
- 3 scallions- chopped
- 4 jalapenos – seeded and chopped
- 1 handful cilantro leaves- chopped
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons of ginger
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of part-skim grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- salt- to taste
- pepper-to taste
- 4 tablespoons of canola oil- for frying
Put the garlic and the ginger in a food processor and chop into a fine paste. Work this paste into the ground chicken. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Don’t be afraid to use your hands!
Make the chicken kabob patties by scooping out a handful of the mix and flattening it into a flat patty shape. Note: it is easier to make the patties when the meat mixture is a little chilled so after you mix all the ingredients together, you might want to pop it into the fridge for a bit. Make the patties as flat as possible so they cook fast and completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of encountering uncooked chicken in the middle of your chapli kabobs: not fun.
Heat up the canola oil in a skillet. Make sure the oil is thoroughly heated before dropping the patties into the oil. Otherwise, the patties absorb too much oil. Brown on each side. Serve with rice and accompaniments–my favorites are a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced avocado and a chiffonade of kale greens.