by Christi Qazi / May 17, 2007
Take 11/2 lb of ground beef or ground lamb, put it in a bowl, and set it aside.
In a blender or food processor, chop finely one bunch of cleaned green onions, one bunch of washed cilantro, and 1/2 of a green bell pepper. You want the mix to have the consistency of paste or else you will have chunks of ingredients sticking out of the kabob and the small pieces will burn upon frying. Take the mix out of the food processor and into a clean medium sized bowl. To the mix, add 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of finely chopped garlic and then add the meat to this bowl.
Mix the ingredients together well and then add 3 tbsp of ground cilantro seeds, 3 tbsp of cumin, and 2 tbsp of coriander. I use 1/2 tbsp of chicken flavor bouillon powder in place of salt because it also adds flavor, but you can substitute salt if you like (you also can adjust if you like a more or less salty flavor). I use Knorr brand bouillon and it can be found in the ethnic foods isle at supermarkets or at some Costco stores. Remember not to add any additional salt if you use it.
If you would like to make the chapli spicy, then add Jalapenos (fresh or canned) to the food processor stage. I recommend using the canned Jalapenos as these come in mild or hot. For extra heat, take 8 whole dried red chili peppers and empty the seeds into the mix, then take the red skins and grind them into a powder and add to the mix. The seeds contain the heat so be careful about how many you add.
When all of the ingredients are mixed well into the meat, it should be soft but not sloppy. If it is, then add a little bit (1tbsp) of all purpose flour. Do not add too much flour or it will ruin the taste. I recommend using non powdered disposable gloves that you would use for cleaning or at a Dr.’s office to mix the meat. You can buy these non latex gloves at the grocery store (use nitrile or polyurethane NON POWERED).
In a frying pan add 1 cup of vegetable oil and put on medium heat. To make the kabobs uniform, take enough mix to make a ball – about the size of a large golf ball and roll the mix into a round ball in the palms of your hands (much like making meatballs). Next, flatten out the ball by pressing from the center out and turning the ball until you have a patty about 1/4 inch thick. You do not want them too thick because the outside will cook and the inside will not. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay the kabob into the pan away from you in case of splatter. There should be enough oil to almost cover the kabob but not quite; remove any excess oil with a large serving spoon (carefully) or add more oil if needed.
The kabobs will shrink by about half so don’t worry if they look large when you first form them. Also, do not make them so thin that they rip when you put them into the pan. Press the kabobs down with a spatula as they have a tendency to arc up and the underside middle will not be as cooked as the rims. Just press till it stays flat. Give each patty plenty of room and cook until the kabobs are brown on both sides. If you are worry about oil splashing when you turn the kabobs, use tongs to flip the kabob patties – just like you would a hamburger.