Afghan Burgers: A moody cook’s way to success

Published: February 16, 2013
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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.