Afghan Burgers: A moody cook’s way to success

Published: February 16, 2013

These burgers are actually more like a delicious wrap. PHOTO: SAKINA KAVI

I am a moody cook who lazes around as much as possible before entering the kitchen. I would rather resort to last night’s leftovers than make something from scratch. Thus, when I actually make the effort and get my apron on, it certainly is a big deal.

And the biggest motivation that is leading me to share this easy to make recipe was the never ending “wows” and “yums” by my family members that came with every bite.

It all started after a chat with a friend living in Islamabad who could not help talking about Afghan burgers that he gets near his locality. However, being a Karachiite and never having heard about this wonderful delight, and thinking from my growling stomach, I made a point to try my hands at making this dish, just the next day.

And so I did!

Okay, before you judge the picture that I claim to be an ‘Afghan burger’, let me make it clear; these burgers are more like a wrap and that is why they look like kabab rolls. Nevertheless, below is the recipe that I thought to share with everyone who wishes to make these easy to make snacks at home.

Ingredients

For bread/roti:

All-purpose flour            1 cup

Whole-wheat flour         1/2 cup

Salt                                       1 teaspoon

Water                                  As required

Oil-                                        As required

For filling:

Chicken                                 1/2 kg

Lemon juice                      1 tablespoon

Soya sauce                         1 tablespoon

Worcestershire sauce   1 tablespoon

Chili powder                     2 teaspoons

Salt                                       To taste

Black pepper                    1 teaspoon

Oil for frying

(As a secret, I also added a teaspoon of any ready to make masala packets that I could find in my kitchen cabinet).

Tomato Sauce:

Tomato Ketchup             2-3 tablespoons

Chilli flakes                       2 teaspoons

Soy sauce                           1 tablespoon

Garlic Mayonnaise:

Mayonnaise                      3-4 tablespoons

Garlic cloves                    4-5 cloves finely chopped

French Fries:

Medium sized potatoes                2

(Makes five Afghan burgers)

Although you might need to multitask while preparing these Afghan burgers, nevertheless, everything nicely combined will give you just the right snack to help satisfy you’re between-the-meal-hunger. I do not claim to be a great cook but once I had these made, it was certainly a moment of pride for me. I do not know what actual Afghan burgers taste like but these were truly amazing.

Method

Chicken filling:

Start with chopping your chicken into small pieces that can be easily folded into a wrap, so make sure you have your chicken defrosted and you chop the pieces to make just the right chunks.

Next, marinate your chicken pieces with all the mentioned ingredients and set aside for a bit to settle down.

Now, once that is done, take out your frying pans and fry in oil, until the chicken is nice and tender.

Bread/Roti:

Now, the tricky part. You will actually have to make your roti round or else no one will marry you.

Just kidding!

But yes, round roti is pretty important.

In order to prepare for this, get your dough ready. Mix in all purpose flour and whole-wheat flour together, add in a teaspoon of salt and make sure you add a little bit of oil before you add the water. This will make your bread soft.

Next, mix in the water and work it until the dough is nice and smooth.

Take out your rolling pin and start rolling a piece of dough until it looks thin enough to be cooked on a pan. You can make at least five medium sized rotis with these ingredients.

French Fries:

These French fries actually go as a filling inside the Afghan burgers, so make sure that you have them thinly sliced and just the right size to stuff as many as possible in one burger. Fry your French fries on medium heat until golden brown.

Sauces:

I made two sauces, the tomato sauce and garlic-mayo sauce. The method is simple, just combine all the ingredients for these sauces together and you will have some really great flavours to add to your Afghan Burgers.

Filling Time!

Now comes the fun part. Take a roti, place it on a plate, drizzle some tomato sauce, place some chicken pieces on top, couple them with French fries and then add some of the garlic-mayo sauce, and roll it up.

Preferably, microwave your Afghan burgers for a while and serve them hot!

Bingo!

Please give me credit for the “wows” and “yums” that you will hear from your family members as they relish this treat. And don’t blame me if you are inundated with a farmaishi brigade once too often.

Bon appétit!

PHOTOS: SAKINA KAVI

Read more by Sakina here.

Sakina Nanabhai

Sakina Nanabhai

A Mass Communication student from Karachi University, aiming to become a journalist.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ahsan

    LOOKS YUMMAYYYYY!!

    Somebody make me some… :(Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Picture is not so enticing… recipe sounds good though.Recommend

  • Anas Khan

    this recipe is so much similar to the “SHAWARMA”, made in Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE etc. It is also wrapped bread with chicken (in various flavors like grilled etc) along with cucumbers dipped in vinegar, mayonnaise and french friesRecommend

  • Zamir Malik

    What is this new strange phenomenon of naming many things as Afghani dishes when it have no origins there.??. The above so called Dish is simply a Roll Paratha available everywhere in Lahore and this Paratha have many forms and It is like a Theft of Our traditional Parathas as a part of Cultural Invasion to make us Feel ashamed of our own Culture and we should not Promote such things at all. Kindly dont try to Snatch our Cultural Dishes and Parathas and naming as your own. First it was done with Koftas and same thing is being Repeated with Paratha and Paratha rolls.Recommend

  • Einsjam Neutron

    yummy…will try it asapRecommend

  • http://www.junaidhassan.com Junaid

    Nice! As a single guy living alone, this will serve nicely for a weekend lunch! Thanks a bunch! :DRecommend

  • Karachi ,Afghanistan

    With this intensity I am afraid soon Karachites will come to know that Baryani is actually known as Afghan Baryani. Then the next day we will woke up and Halwa Poori and Choolay will be named as Afghan Halwa Poori and Dahi Bharay will be known as Afghan Dahi Bharay and I am afraid even Nihari will be named as Afghan Nihari and ultimately we will be searching what we used to eat in the past as it seems everything actually arrived recently from Afghanistan. Yesterday I saw one Shop in Karachi Simply selling ordinary Chicken Karahi as Afghan Karahi and i could not understand why this is happening actually. May be it is an Actual Conscience among the Afghans that Thanks God they are not learning anything from so called Nan Aryans.Recommend

  • Sakina

    Thanks for appreciating the recipe :) .. @Zamir and @Karachi, Afghanistan. Well, I am not sure where all that came in from, but yeah, certainly these ones a little different from the regular kabab rolls. And, I am not a great cook or anything, just tried these at home and they turned out to be nice, I am sure the ones sold in Isloo are likely to taste even better, and they would actually give you the real flavour of what Afghan burgers are likely to taste like. thanks!Recommend

  • Aijaz Haider

    Looking at the pictures …. Delicious!Recommend

  • Hasan

    Oh yeah the Afghani burgers in Islamabad at Peshawar Morr are the best! However, they are made with real afghani naans and instead of chicken boti, frankfurters and salami are used. Used to eat double burger for PKR 30 during my uni days, oh those days!

    Unfortunately in Karachi you can’t get authentic afghani naans. The ones at Bar B Q tonite are a joke. Have heard they can be found at Sohrab Goth but never been there.Recommend

  • urooj

    This looks sooo yumm.Recommend

  • BigotNot

    Wow sakina….after eating all that yummy oily food, I can atleast console myself that I whetted my appetite before the eventual heart attack.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    looks awsomeRecommend

  • HBK

    is islamabad here they add sausages instead of chicken pieces…and it has a decent market hereRecommend

  • Atif

    Hey Indians.. can you find a beef biryani in India? I am just curious… please take no offense..Recommend

  • masood

    i will surely try…this looks yummy :PRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Karachi afghnistan
    hahhahha yes u right man and wanna share some story too when Mughals came to india and start rulling one day Zaeerudin baber called indian cooks and asked for there food when they finished making he got surprised with all diffrent dishes and spices they used and funny thing is what central asian knew only how to cook whole lamb or goat on the fire. the truth is india is land of spices and weathers.Recommend

  • Acha Bacha

    @Sakina Kindly stop calling it Afghan Bread. I have already tried it and they are simply calling Paratha as Afgan bread and the comments of Karachi and Zamir Malik are absolutely valid as calling your own traditional breads as someone that came from abroad is totally senseless and the people with no idea about local dishes will say it like that. For example in Punjab and in Sindh Khemri roti was brought in by Persians and Moghuls but soon Afghans start calling it Afghan Bread only to own it and now they are doing it with Parathas. I have no problem with the forced naming but somehow it is like unacceptability of the Pakistani culture and forced naming of our dishes to look different and to make us an assumed follower like the people of no culture which we dont want to do at all.Recommend

  • Yasin

    There is a very similar dish in Turkey, but forgot the name.Recommend

  • Rashid

    @rehmat

    I am on the same page with you on everything that you have said, except that I have a fairly good idea of who he is and where he is coming from. I am familiar with his views on anything to do with Pakistan and Muslims. He is a bigoted Indian Hindu just like a bigoted Muslim or bigoted anything and I was trying to needle him a bit. That’s all.
    I am a great admirer of multicultural, plural, secular society; much like yourself.
    That’s why, In a way I am glad that you picked on my comment as objectionable.
    I would have done the same if I didn’t know the context.
    Cheers.Recommend

  • rehmat

    @Rashid: Thanks for clarifying.Recommend