Words by Kiran, Adelaide, Australia
I belong to the Northern State of Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
The people who live in KPK are either Aryan, Jewish, Arab or have mixed origins and our cultural background is Islam.
They are very hospitable, loving and appreciate guests and visitors to their home.
As the people of Pakhtunkhwa live in a very cold climate, men often travel to other parts of the county in search of income and women tend to do hand embroidery and make jewellery, which is appreciated all over the world.
In 2010 I got married.
We were planning to have children but in the second month of our marriage I was diagnosed with Primary Ovarian Failure (PDF) or early menopause, at the age of 25.
Although it is easy to adopt in Pakistan, as families living in poverty or difficult relationships will give their babies to better home environments, we didn’t want to adopt.
It is difficult for people to accept an adopted child into their extended family and my husband didn’t want anyone to know about our infertility.
He was concerned he would be advised to marry another women to have children; of course neither of us wanted this.
His parents are not the type to force this on him, but we thought it better to move abroad and enjoy a better lifestyle.
To this day, my mother is the only person who knows about our infertility and she prays for us every day.
We immigrated to Australia after a tough English language test and were sponsored to work in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.
After a month of unemployment, we moved to Adelaide where my husband found work.
We love it here, but still miss our family a lot.
After about three months in Adelaide our family doctor referred us to try In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
But then something wonderful happened and I fell pregnant naturally.
I now have a five-year-old daughter who is our miracle baby, you could say.
We love Australia and are happy to live the rest of our lives here because people are very friendly.
But it is a challenge to make recipes taste the same as I remember from our homeland.
I can’t always get specific ingredients, but this recipe is pretty close to the real thing.
Chapli Kebab, which roughly translates to flatten by the hand, is mostly eaten in the winter for any kind of gathering.
It is usually made from ground beef or mutton with pieces of bone marrow and various spices, and then shaped into a patty or burger.
People in Pakistan especially love to go to the kebab shops to watch them frying in big pans of ghee, especially on a rainy day.
Chapli Kebab also makes a great burger or sandwich.
- 500 grams minced beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground pomegranate seeds or ½ teaspoon pomegranate syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons plain flour
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 1 small green chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped
Mix the onion and mince together and knead very well for about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and spices and knead well.
Make a small ball of the mixture in your palm and roll it into a smooth ball.
Flatten the ball by pressing firmly between your palms.
Heat oil in a frying pan or tawa. When the oil is hot lower the heat and fry the kebab until cooked through
Serve with yoghurt mint sauce.
Feature image by HungryForever