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Afghan Chopan Kabob Recipe

Afghan Chopan Kabob Recipe

Chopan kabob is a Pashtun delicacy consisting of skewered and grilled lamb meat. The meat is marinated with onion juice, ginger, salt, garlic, and yogurt before being grilled over a traditional Afghan charcoal brazier called mankal.

Generally made using the best cuts of the meat (shoulder, loin or belly), chopan kabob is seasoned with sumac or gard-e-ghooreh, sour grape powder, and is usually served with naan bread.

Origin & Cultural Significance

The name “chopan” in Pashto translates as “shepherd” in English, referring to the fact that the dish was named after sheep herders. It is believed that the herders, while watching their flocks, would rub lots of salt over chunks of lamb, skewer them using small branches, and roast them over the fire.

You can find chopan kabobs throughout most Afghan cities in the many street food stalls which are also known as dukan-e-kebabi. It is often prepared using pre-marinated meat, and pieces of fat from the sheep’s tail (also called jijeq) are added to the lamb skewers for additional flavor.

Chopan Kabob
Yield: 4

Afghan Chopan Kabob Recipe

Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes


  • Boneless lamb (cut into 3/4-inch cubes) - 2 lb
  • Large red onion (cut into 2-inch cubes) - 1
  • Live, natural yogurt - 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Garlic (peeled and crushed) - 4 Cloves
  • Salt - To taste
  • Black pepper - to taste
  • Ground cilantro seed - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Lamb fat - 8 Oz
  • Lawausha or chapati (or naan) - 2


  1. Put the red onion in a juicer and separate the juice from the
    ground pulp. Keep it aside.
  2. Take a medium sized bowl and add freshly prepared onion juice,
    crushed garlic, yogurt (if using), salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix all the ingredients well.
  3. Add the lamb and lamb fat or oil in the bowl. Combine all the ingredients properly to marinate the meat. Keep the marinated meat in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight. Make sure that the bowl is covered the entire time.
  4. Next preheat the grill. Thread the lamb on to the skewers. If you are using the lamb fat, keep in mind to alternate the meat cubes with the fat.
  5. Grill for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the meat turns brown
    in color and is properly cooked. Remember to turn the skewers frequently while grilling so the meat is cooked well from all sides.
  6. Now, take a large plate and place the lawausha or chapati on it. Separate the meat cubes from the skewers and transfer them onto the bread.
  7. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top of the meat and then garnish it with the tomato, onion and lemon.
  8. Next fold the chapati or lawausha over. This will help to keep the meat inside warm. If there is any extra lawausha or chapati left, you can simply cut it into pieces and serve separately. You can also add mixed salad if you like.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 993Total Fat: 69gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 277mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 73g

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