Kebab: The national dish of Iran

Today was perfect for cooking kebab:  Cuts of meat, placed onto skewers and roasted over open charcoal . The warmth of the sun, the smell of summer and a vodka or two…..!

The word ‘kebab’ is originally PERSIAN …. of course it is, that’s why Persian kebab is the best you will ever taste! It’s history apparently goes back to the middle ages when Persian warriors roasted meat over an open fire on their swords! Although now there are many varieties of ‘kebab’ from almost every corner of the globe you care to think of. However I have never tasted any better than Persian kebab, be it chicken, lamb, beef or koobideh (minced meat ).

The secret to an excellent kebab is the marinade. For an authentic  taste of ‘Persia’ you will need to marinade your meat for at least a few hours but over night is preferable. The second important factor is the cut of meat.


~Recipe for Koobideh ~

  • 450 gr’s ground beef or lamb ( a little fatty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 onion grated


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead until all the ingredients adhere.
  2. Allow to sit for at least a few hours.
  3. Wet your hands and divide the mixture into 4 balls and roll into a sausage shape.
  4. Mould this onto a thick flat skewer ( available at almost all Iranian grocery stores)
  5. Cook for about 4-5  minutes over well prepared glowing charcoals on a supporting arrangement as above ….. you will need to have started the charcoals about 30 minutes before.
  6. Baste with melted butter and lime juice and turn frequently until the meat is seared ( cooked on the outside).
  7. Before serving, remove from the skewers onto a serving dish, sprinkle with sumac and lime juice.

Serve with saffron rice, herbs, mast o masir or mast o khiar and grilled tomatoes.


~Ingredients ~

  • 450 gr’s of lamb steak or tenderloin trimmed and cut into 2” cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of natural yoghurt


  1. Combine all the ingredients and marinade for at least 8 hours but preferably over night. Keep in the fridge.
  2. To cook,  thread onto wide flat skewers leaving a small gap in between each piece of meat and roast over well prepared charcoals for about 4-5 minutes each side until seared but remaining tender on the inside.
  3. Baste with a mixture of melted butter, saffron and  lime juice.
  4. immediately before serving, remove from the skewer onto a dish, sprinkle with sumac and lime juice.

Serve with saffron rice, grilled tomatoes, Herbs, mast o khiar or mast o musir ~Nooshi joonet~ Enjoy~


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