By Fakhar Alam
PESHAWAR, Mar 22 (APP):Known as the city of hospitality, Peshawar is a unique ancient city for being most frequented by visitors to relish on its delectable traditional foods varieties, of which mouthwatering Chappli Kabab business’ takeaway and home delivery services spiked amid ban on eateries in hotels and restaurants due to increase of corona-virus cases.
Owing to government ban on eating in hotels and restaurants except its parcels and takeaway services in the wake of rise in corona virus cases, the Chappli Kabab outlets has started roaring business these days by witnessing deluge of orders for home delivery from residents and visitors to enjoy its delicious bites along with families, relatives and friends.
While travelling in historic Qisa Khawani, Namak Mandi, Firdous, Warsak and Ring Roads, one can’t help tasting tantalizing aroma of Chappli Kabab where myriad shops were available to attract foodies’.
“Every weekend I used to take my family along to a popular kabab shop in Peshawar. When I was young I frequently visited Qissa Khwani to enjoy chapli kabab with traditional green tea (Qahawa) due to its aromatic taste and spiciness,” said former Ambassador of Pakistan, Manzoorul Haq while talking to APP.
The history of Chappli Kabab dated back to Mughals era as they had great influence on culture, art, architecture and foods in subcontinent. Derived its Chapli name from Pashto word Chaprikh means ‘flat’, this key dish of Peshawar-origin had gradually expanded to other provinces of Pakistan even beyond borders to India and Afghanistan and this traditional food item figures high on hotels and restaurants’ menus.
“These days, I avoid bazaars because of caronavirus infection fear and prefer to bring Peshawari Chappli Kabab home to enjoy it with my family members,” Manzoor said. “My visit to Peshawar is incomplete without eating chappli kabab and was happy to see mushroom of growth of its shops here. Since my teenage, my first choice is chappli kabab because it is simple, cost-efficient dish with lots of taste, flavor and spiciness,” he maintained.
“Though there are more than a dozen popular kabab recipes in subcontinent such as shami, boti, seekh, bihari, Lahori and galavati but none of them can compete with the world famous Peshawari Chaplli kabab in taste and deliciousness,” he added. He said Chappli Kabab was the most sought-after savor of the ancient Peshawar City with around 2000 years old civilization.
‘Jalil Kabab House’, is the oldest chappli kabab centre since 1950 at Firdous opposite Kanigam Park (now Jinnah Park) and historic Balahisar Fort whose young owners continued the rich legacy of their forefathers despite facing different challenges.
Arif Ahmed, owner of Jalil Kabab House said that he had inherited Chappli Kabab’s business from his father, Jalil Ahmed after he took over it from his own father, Jumma Khan in 1950. “Following the death of my father, all his (Jalil Ahmed) six sons had carried forward this hard-earned business and continued till date with a lot of hope to transfer it to next generation,” he recalled.
“My grandfather started chappli kabab business from a single ‘Karahi’ (frypane) 70 years ago and today with grace of Allah Almighty we have six more shops including one at Melody Food Street, Islamabad, two each at Firdous and University Road, one each at Gul Bahar and Faqirabad Peshawar.”
“Chappli Kabab making had initially originated in Peshawar during Mughal dynasty as told by our forefathers and from here its recipe shifted to Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and other cities of Pakistan besides Jalalabad and Kabul in Afghanistan and Amratsar, Lucknow and Dheli in India,” he recalled.
“We use minced meat and once it is rightly crushed by experienced labourers, tomatoes, red chili powder, onions, dry coriander leaves, eggs, ginger, lemon juice, salt, masala and pomegranate seeds go into its marinated meat and it takes only 10 minutes to make a complete Chappli Kabab served with chutney, katchup, salad, yogurt and naan to our customers.”
There are more than 2,500 chappli kebab shops in and around Peshawar city to cater people’s need, he said, adding people of all ages are taking keen interest in Chappli Kabab. Peshawari Chappli Kabab’s demand was often being received from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Gulf States, he said, adding its demands increase manifolds during weddings, engagements and haqeeqa parties of new borns for which our labourers had to work till late night to meet the deadline.
However, after reports of corona cases, the number of tourists’ has been decreased in Peshawar, reducing kabab’s sale to 50kg meat per day. However, he said takeaway and home delivery service of Chappli Kabab had increased manifolds that immensely helped to fulfill our gas, electricity and labour expenses.