Bihari Kabab & the Runaway Chicken

Posted on November 9, 2006
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food, Humor
Total Views: 35487

Owais Mughal
We’ve had quite a few posts on food at ATP. For example, if you are looking for best Pakistani food outside Pakistan then you may want to consult here. If you want to know how to make omelette in Pakistani style then read this and if you are thinking of outsourcing ‘samosa’ and ‘paraatha’ production to China then our article here can be a resource.
Now when all is said and done; I still want to say that among all the goodies that God has created for the pleasure of mankind, one great thing is a Bihari Kabab. Those of you who have tasted it may agree that no other food can beat the great taste of a well-marinated and spicy Bihari kabab.

One fine evening in early 2006, I got this sudden urge where I craved for the Bihari kabab at 9:00 p.m. By 9:15 I found myself sitting in the car and driving towards a famous desi restaurant in Hayward, California. The restaurant closes at 10 p.m and I managed to reach there just in time. I ordered a plate of Bihari kabab. The owner who was a novice in customer service looked at me with such eyes as if saying couldn’t you have come earlier.

There was another gentleman waiting for his order besides me. At 10:05 p.m. the owner looked at me with a food bag in his hand, placed it on the counter and disappeared somewhere.

As the owner had looked at me before placing the food on the counter, so I picked it up and went to the car. Inside the car, I opened the box and found chicken kababs instead. For few seconds I thought may be it is Bihari kabab made from chicken. After all, these days one can find chicken nihari sold at restaurants too.

But very soon I heard some running steps approaching me and then I found two restaurant employees looking searchingly inside my car. One of them pointed towards my food and asked:

‘bhai sahab, kiya ye murghi hai? (O brother, is this chicken?)

To which I replied:

‘ji-haaN ye murghi hai’ (Yes it is chicken)

Apparently, I had picked up the wrong order. When I went back in I heard the owner shouting in Punjabi:

Oyay kukRi kithay nus gayee eh? (Where has the chicken ran?)

When I gave him his lost kukRi (Punjabi word for chicken) he again looked at me angrily. His looks were like a street shopkeeper who makes a poor customer feel humble first and then sell what he needs. He said:

‘pai-jaan, daNkRa chuk ke vekh te lehnday’
(Brother you should have lifted the lid to see what’s inside first).

Then there was some acrimonious exchange of dialogs between us. It was quite an interesting experience. His arguments were in Punjabi and mine in Urdu. but we still understood eachother. Finally he realized that he was losing a customer fast so after both of us had cooled down a bit, he brought me a free plate of haleem (a dish made of minced meat and lentils) and said:

‘koi baat naee ji, jadhoN bhukh bohti lagi howay te ainj ho hi jaanda eh’
(Don’t worry, when one is too hungry then things likethis happen)

Finally my Bihari Kabab got ready at 10:10 p.m. and they were as tasty as ever. It was interesting to note that owners of this restaurant are Punjabi speaking but they make the best Bihari kabab in town.

As the name implies, Bihari Kabab originated from the Bihar province of India. It is said that in Pakistan the Bihari Kabab was introduced from the Orangi Town area of Karachi. According to residents, Juma Khan was the first person to start serving this special item, which is now a popular favourite throughout the country. Juma has been selling these Kababs since he migrated to Orangi in 1973 and started his shop at Rehmat Chowk in sector 11.5 of the Orangi town. His specialty item Kabab and Puri gained the epithet Behari Kababs referring to Juma Khan’s Behari origin. Although some parts of Orangi have unwillingly gained the reputation of being a slum, it is still the home of the original taste of Behari Kababs, which attracts people from every corner of the city. They all travel to Rehmat Chowk wishing to taste the specialty item cooked by the very hands that invented it. With time, Juma’s Behari Kababs grew in popularity, spreading across the entire Karachi area, and have now become one of the most integral menu items on food-spreads at gatherings.

For our readership who would like to delve into this culinary delight, here is a time tested recipe’ for Bihari Kabab. Note the use of papaya in the recipe’ below is the key to success.


Beef pasanday (filets) 1/2 kilo
Unripe papaya (grinded) 2 tbs
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Salt according to taste
Yogurt 2 tbs
Chili powder 1 tsp
Chopped green chilies 1tbs
Oil 1 tbs


Mix together all the spices and yogurt and papaya and coat the beef with it. Leave to marinate for 5-6 hours preferably overnight. Then barbeque over charcoal or you can bake it in an oven.


ae lo! mazay-daar bihari kabab tayyaar haiN. baji-ji bismilah, bhai-sahab aap bhi bismilah

(lo-behold, super tasty Bihari Kababs are ready. Ladies and gentlemen, bon apetite)

22 Comments on “Bihari Kabab & the Runaway Chicken”

  1. Mariam says:
    November 10th, 2006 12:42 am

    Owais Sahab,

    We’ve already barbequed kabobs using the recipe when it appeared here. I’m glad to report it was indeed a success among our global friends.

  2. Ahsan says:
    November 10th, 2006 1:25 am

    What a surprise, “Bihari Kabab”. I have been earting itas early as before the birth of Pakistan because of my Bihari origin. After all these years, even my French wife makes Bihari Kabab here in France. We have found that a good quality meat marinated overnight becomes very tender. Thus, there is no need of adding papaya. Unripe papaya is not an easy thing to find in Europe. We have tried Shan Bihari Kabab Masala and found it pretty good.


  3. Asma says:
    November 10th, 2006 7:44 am


    Yummy recipie … hoping it’d be equally tasty too!

  4. Razi says:
    November 10th, 2006 7:48 am

    The best Bihari Kababs this side of the Atlantic are at Kabab King in Queens New York. They can give serious competition to the ones from Al-Kabab in Bahadurabad Karachi.

  5. Eidee Man says:
    November 10th, 2006 2:25 pm

    Hahah….hilarious….especially how he said that you were acting up because you were hungry!! Good one! :D

  6. Yahya says:
    November 10th, 2006 8:14 pm

    Owais, are you going back to that place? I mean did the haleem do the trick pai-jaan?

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    November 10th, 2006 10:37 pm

    Yahya, If I get chance then yes I will go again. The kabab there were indeed very good. This owner guy was rude but somehow truthful as well as generous as he gave me free haleem. I don’t know, he may’ve had a long day so i won’t keep it against him. Now the whole incident remains a memory for me to which I laugh about :)

  8. November 13th, 2006 3:20 am

    [...] Pakistani blogger Owais Mughal relishes Bihar kebabs in California: among all the goodies that God has created for the pleasure of mankind, one great thing is a Bihari Kabab. Those of you who have tasted it may agree that no other food can beat the great taste of a well-marinated and spicy Bihari kabab. [Read the full post] Posted by shivam [...]

  9. November 13th, 2006 11:00 am

    The images of the Shan masala boxes make me wonder if I authentic bihari kabab can be made from the Shan spice mix? I’ll definitely have to try it if so. I have found Shan masalas to be my home away from home.

  10. Arman says:
    June 10th, 2007 9:01 am

    maza aa gaya easy to eat and easy to make.thanks

  11. Harshal says:
    September 22nd, 2007 3:17 pm

    Guys you wont believe ! Bihari Kebab is completely unheard of in India … I’ve been to Bihar few times as far as Jhumritilaiya / Ramgadh (sholay village), Bodh Gaya to Patna and Ranchi … but never ever came across this … also Bihar being a predominantly hindu state … there are not many takes to make it a serious business proposition… I came across this delicacy few weeks ago at a pakistani restaurant in Atlanta and LOVED it ….

  12. adeel amir says:
    October 12th, 2007 9:25 am

    one thing missing in bihari kabab recipe is gram masala 1tsp this is the important ingr.
    my parents are from bihar migerated to pakistan in 1947, and i saw my grandmother mixing gram masala and musterd oil

  13. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 12th, 2007 10:13 am

    Ovais Mughal

    very curious blog on Bihari Kebabs, surprisingly unknown
    in Bihar because of its Hindu (veg) background, not sure if
    mughals sent this to Bihar or Nawab Sirajudaulah?

    Anyway, when I ate these Kebabs, my Urdu accent
    suffered a strange change !!! it was so spicey with
    spoons of “Mirich” I had to grabe a fire extinguisher.

    By the way, how would you define a Chappli Kebab??
    remindes me someone talking about Service shoes
    ki chamak or …… it with or without ??

  14. adeel amir says:
    October 12th, 2007 10:35 am

    to make bihari kabab hot is all in hand of the person who is mixing,
    about chaple kabab they are very good in peshawar where i eat

  15. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    October 12th, 2007 10:42 am


    just forgot !! runaway kukri, was she about to run away ?
    or we will be runningaway after eating her, what happened
    with the poor thing, any way catching her is a real sport, one
    has to be marathon or expert in Kabaddi with two hands
    wide open towards the foe in order to grab him by the neck.
    I can not bear watching a chicken been deplumed .

  16. basheer says:
    March 2nd, 2008 1:38 pm

    nice bihari kabaabs…..what abount authentic haleem recipie….and i could nihari also

  17. ali says:
    May 14th, 2008 6:00 am

    lovely food and I would like to buy this website of you, figures shown below:

  18. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 14th, 2008 9:13 am

    @this blog must be banned, it makes us all suffer
    from mouth watering all the time.

  19. sumreen says:
    November 17th, 2008 11:29 pm

    good g ma kiya v\ery good

  20. Farrukh Bokhari says:
    January 11th, 2010 8:26 pm

    I always eat Behari kababs at my friends (in Karachi) who where Behari……………… later when in our teens we use to make them right after Eid-ul Adha . I agree no BBQ dish can match the taste of authentic behari kabab (baring fry kababs of Waheed at Burns Road Karachi)

  21. amit Sinha says:
    May 22nd, 2010 5:39 pm

    I belong to Bihar, India and good to know that Juma Khan form Rahamat chowk has started this dishes and wven in Atlant USA it is popular . I will i could order a Bihari kakab now.

    Bhaiya Koi Bata do isme kaise prepare karu ..

  22. Noor says:
    May 23rd, 2010 3:21 pm

    Wah. Mazza aaa gaya

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