Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chelo Kabob

Persian cuisine is one of my favorite ethnic foods - this probably has something to do with the fact that Alfred is Iranian and he is a fabulous cook. There are many wonderful Persian stews (khoresht) and rice pilafs (polos) that I really enjoy, but of all the Persian foods I’ve eaten, I especially love Chelo Kabob, a seasoned ground meat kabob (Kubideh kabob) served with steamed basmati rice. Chelo Kabob is the Iranian national dish; it is the quintessential Persian meal. A simple comfort food akin to the all-American meat and potatoes. I don't eat much meat these days, so Chelo kabob is an occassional treat that I really savor! You can use any ground meat to make the Kubideh - you will find beef, lamb and chicken Kubideh on the menus of most Persian restaurants. We like to use lean ground dark meat turkey because it is healthier than beef, but has a richer taste than chicken. All meat for Kubideh is lightly seasoned and mixed with grated onions, which makes it especially juicy. It is simple to make and simply delicious. A good Kubideh will literally melt in your mouth. It is also a perfect summer meal for the grill!

Chelo Kabob is traditionally served with sumac (a sour and salty red spice), grilled whole tomatoes and grilled onions. Cucumber salad (shirazi salad), a bowl of fresh herbs (sabzi), and pickled vegetables (torshi) are also common accompaniments.

Chelo Kabob

For the Kubideh (or Koobideh) Kabob:
1 Pound Ground Meat (Turkey, Chicken, Beef or Lamb)
1 Medium Onion, grated (use a box grater or food processor attachment, or put it through a meat grinder while grinding your meat)
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Cumin (optional)

Steamed Basmati Rice (see instructions here)

For the Kubideh Kabob, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate the mixture at least 1 hour. Shape the kabobs just before you are ready to grill them. To shape the kabobs you have a few options: the meat is traditionally molded around a long metal skewer (seehk); since those are hard to come by, you can use soaked wooden skewers or form the meat into strips (which you would grill as you would a hamburger). Whichever way you choose, the kabobs should be around 2-3 inches wide, 1-1.5 inches thick and 6-8 inches long. For a pound of meat you should get 2-3 large kabobs (I eat only half of one - Alfred eats a whole one). Grill the kabobs over a medium flame about 8 minutes per side, until cooked through and nicely browned.

Noosh-e-jan (Bon apetite)!

*You can also serve Kubideh with pita bread rather than rice for a yummy wrap style sandwich or use the Kubideh meat to make the best burger ever!

As usual, I've also included this recipe as part of a couple of weekly recipe sharing events: As usual, I've also included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Just Something I Whipped Up, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Friday Foodie, and Friday Favorites. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. This looks excellent!!! I just added it to the ground turkey round up!

  2. I love persian food! These look absolutely fantastic.

  3. Thanks Debbi and Joanne, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  4. Ooh, my hubby adores Persian food. I'll have to make these for him! Bookmarked!

  5. This looks delish!!!! I'm your newest follower.

  6. I love Persian food, and all the fragrant spices that are used to flavor it! Keep 'em coming!

  7. I'm glad you all like the recipe - I certainly will keep the Persian recipes coming - I have several other posted, be sure to check them out! Moogie - I so very happy to have you as a follower!

  8. Looks good! I've never had Persian food before.

    Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites!