Afghani burger or Kabuli burger is nothing like anything you have had before.
We like our burgers tall, greasy and meaty. There, we said it. There is an unparalleled charm about classic burgers, but there are some renditions that manage to make a special room in your heart forever. A burger is essentially a combination of two buns stacked with a meat or vegetable patty and sauces, but the countless ways in which this classic snack has been reimagined and adapted, go to show how its popularity has transcended time and boundaries. In the capital, you’d find a slew of street food hawkers selling Desi Burger, wherein they deep-fry both the buns and tikkis. This burger is then served with an array of chutneys.
But did you know, in the bustling alleys of Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar I, is hidden another marvelous burger that doesn’t really look like a traditional burger, but has started to become quite a thing among the foodies of Delhi for its wholesomeness. Afghani Burger, is one of Delhi’s most well-kept secrets. This area of Lajpat Nagar is almost as famous for its Afghani settlement as for its Afghani Burger. Immigrants old and new, have set small shops and businesses in this little area tucked away in one corner of the ever-so massive Lajpat Nagar Market. Afghani burger or Kabuli burger, is possibly the most beloved street food items you would find here along with an array of meaty delicacies.
The burger does not quite look like burger, it is, however, comparable to shawarma. A thick flatbread made with wheat flour, much like pita is laid out. It is stuffed with cut tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, shredded chicken, sausages (occasionally), boiled eggs and fat French fries or fried potato slices. As far as the sauces and smears are concerned, a special chutney is prepared with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and chillies. This hot and tangy chutney is slathered over the stuffing. The bread is then rolled up with all the fillings neatly tucked inside, making a huge wrap that can easily feed two. And you get this wrap for just 50-80 Rupees. Isn’t that amazing?
The wrap is heavily inspired by Afghani and middle-eastern cuisine in general, where it is common to pair meat, veggies, and bread in this fashion. Let’s not forget, even shawarma, is essentially a big, fat meat wrap. It reached Pakistan with Afghan immigrants and gained currency as Afghani or Kabuli Burger. Afghani burger is immensely popular street food in Pakistani cities like Islamabad and Peshawar.
A few immigrants who ventured towards India made the 'burger' popular in the food capital of the country, Delhi.
Afghani burger is every bit loaded and flavourful, it is perfect for days you are craving for something heavy, but also do not want an elaborate spread that requires you to sit down and use 20 different types of cutlery. Just sit (or stand), grab, bit, and go.