Chap Shoro – the famous Hunza Pie:
We were introduced to this delicious dish two years ago in the beautiful Hunza Valley. Chap Shoro (also popularly known as Hunza pie) is a rustic, hearty and yummy dish with a melodious name and irresistible aroma. It’s a simple and straightforward preparation of cooked minced meat stuffed and sealed between two whole wheat flatbreads, and then cooked over a skillet.
Versatile and Delicious:
What makes this simple pie so special is the fact that it is an easy-to-please-all sort of recipe, filling and quite handy to eat if you are travelling. You can take it to potlucks and make it delicious main dish for some special occasion, surrounded by fresh salad. The interesting thing is that you will find it in different price range at different places – from 50 Pakistani rupees on roadside stalls to 1200 Pakistani rupees at high end cafes and restaurants.
How the Locals Eat Chap Shoro:
At roadside eateries you’ll still find it in it’s original form – made with a mix of cornmeal and whole wheat flours, stuffed with beef or mince and cooked in animal fat. In local homes even yak meat mince is also stuffed in Chap Shoro and the cooked pie is brushed with apricot oil or apricot oil is served on the side as a dip.
Tourist-friendly Chap Shoro:
In more posh eateries, you will find Chap Shoro made with chicken mince or even vegetarian version with just tomatoes and onions or spinach and yogurt cheese to cater to the tastes of tourists visiting the valley.
A Chap Shoro Experience at Khabasi Cafe:
We fell so much in love with this hearty pie that we tried it from different places during our stay. The wonderful ladies running the Khabasi Cafe at Altit fort were so gracious that on my request they gave me the recipe for Chap Shoro. In fact, they made sure I understood the entire procedure properly.
This One’s a Keeper!
Ofcourse on coming back home this was one of the first things I tried making in my own kitchen. Here I’m sharing the recipe in complete honesty as it was given to me by my lovely hostess.
2 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting worktop
A pinch salt
Water to knead the dough
1/2 kg chicken, lamb or beef mince
1 small onion (half cup chopped)
2 medium tomatoes (3/4 cup chopped)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves (optional)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground red chilli pepper
This Is What You Do:
Mix flour and salt in a big bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add water gradually and keep mixing with flour.
When all the flour comes together, start kneading the dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or till the dough is firm. Cover and set aside while you cook the minced meat.
Add oil to a deep pan. Add onions and saute over medium heat till the onions are golden.
Add chopped garlic and diced tomatoes. Add the dry spices and salt. Fry the ingredients together for a couple of minutes.
Add minced meat. Keep frying another couple of minutes. Add 1/4 cup water for chicken, 1/2 to 3/4 cup for mutton and beef. Cover the pan, reduce hear to medium low.
Cook till the minced meat is cooked and liquid completely evaporated. The cooked mince should be quite dry. We dont want any liquids making the pie soggy or dripping when you bite into it.
Let the mince cool a little while you roll out the dough for the pie.
Divide the dough into equal sized four balls. Lightly flour a work top, roll out each dough ball into a 6-7 inch round.
Wet the edges of each round. Divide mince into two portions. Spread mince over two dough rounds, leavimg 1/2 inch of edges uncovered.
Place the other two dough rounds over mince covered rounds. Press with your fingers or fork to seal the edges together or if you are more confident handling the dough, fold the edge inwards to make a nice pie like edge.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease it with apricot or olive oil or butter. Place one pie over it gently. Cover with a lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till the bottom side is cooked.
Flip, cover and cook another 3-4 minutes. Repeat the same process with the other pie.
Serve warm sliced or whole with apricot or olive oil or yogurt dip on the side.
Makes 2 Chap Shoro
Serves 4-8 (depending if it’s main or side dish).