Persian kebab kubideh with rice (Chelow kebab)

Kebab is an absolute favourite, the most popular and delicious dish in Iran. In Iranian cuisine, there are different types of kebab with ground meat or diced meat and believe me all are super tasty and you will be over the moon when you have kebab for lunch or dinner.
Kebab is usually grilled over hot coals or in the oven if you have no barbecue.
Chelow kebab means a dish with rice and kebab. Kebabs are various cooked meat dishes.

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My today’s kebab is called ‘ kebab kubidhe ‘ made with ground beef/lamb, other kind of kebab is ‘kebab barg’ with diced beef, lamb or chicken. Still, there is more different kebabs.
Chelow or pilaf (pilau) is  a kind of plain steamed rice topped with butter, saffron and kebab.
Making a good kebab firstly requires quality fresh meat. It should be combination of lamb with beef ( mixed minced). The meat should be around 20% fat which will keep the kebab juicy and moist.
Secondly, when you buy minced meat, you should ask your butcher to grind the meat 2-3 times or do it at home by using your food processor.
Thirdly, you need to marinate the kebab meat earlier and leave the meat to rest in the fridge overnight.

Once kebab is ready serve it with pilaf/polow, fresh herbs, sumac powder  and doogh ( that is an Iranian yogurt based drink).

 

Ingredients for kebab

  • 600 g ground lamb
  • 400 g beef
  • 250-300 g onion, grated and remove excess juice
  • 1/2 lime/lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Ingredients for accompaniment

  • A bunch of cherry tomatoes
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 3-4 red-yellow bell peppers

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Ingredients for mint sauce ( optional)

  • Handful fresh leaves of mint and coriander
  • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • Salt to taste

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Preparation
Grind finely the meat 2-3 times or ask butcher do it for you. Grate the onion and remove the juice. In a big bowl, add grated onion, salt, pepper, lime juice and meat. Mix well and knead the meat mixture for 3-4 minutes and  until  well combined… Kneading the meat mixture for few minutes will make the meat like a paste that will stick together and not fall apart when your thread it on skewers. Then refrigerate the meat overnight.


For threading the kebab you can use either  metal skewers or wooden ones. If you are using wooden skewers, you need to soak them in water overnight as well to prevent of burning in the oven.
Next day, divide the  meat into seven or eight pieces and thread on the wooden skewers by pressing the meat and shaping it evenly. Preheat the oven to 180C for grilling the kebabs.

 Place a flat bread or  (tortilla bread) on the baking  tray and place the kebabs skewers on it. Grill the kebab for 20-25   minutes.The juice from the kebab will soak into the flat bread as the kebab cooks.

Thread the potatoes and peppers on the skewers as well. Grill them in oven 200C for 20-30 minutes. You can do grill  the tomatoes too  but I just fried them in a pan

For refreshing mint sauce you need to blend all ingredients in a blender and make a puree.
Once kebab and accompaniments are grilled, remove from the oven. Traditionally kebab kubideh is served  with steamed saffron rice ( chelow/polow), cubes of butter on top of the rice, fresh herbs such as basil, chives, mint, onions.

Sprinkle sumac powder on kebab. If you serve the kebab with rice, you can sprinkle sumac powder on the rice as well.

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Chilli con carne

If you are a spicy and hot dish lover, chilli con carne would be right choice. Chilli con carne means chilli with means. It serves with bread or rice.

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Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1tsp ground cumin

  • 1tsp ground cinnamon

  • 400g kidney or Pinto beans, cooked

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 1 small bunch of coriander

  • 2tbsp vinegar

  • plain yogurt as much as you wish

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Olive oil

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How to make it

Place the pan on a medium heat and add oil and all chopped carrots, onion, celery, garlic, red pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir frequently and fry them for few minutes until softened.

Add minced meat, Pinto beans and chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander . Fry until meat lightly coloured. Pour 1 ½ cups water and vinegar into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve chilli con carne with fluffy rice, or tortilla bread.

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Chilli con carne

Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1tsp ground cumin

  • 1tsp ground cinnamon

  • 400g kidney or Pinto beans, cooked

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 1 small bunch of coriander

  • 2tbsp vinegar

  • plain yogurt as much as you wish

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Olive oil

How to make it

Place the pan on a medium heat and add oil and all chopped carrots, onion, celery, garlic, red pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir frequently and fry them for few minutes until softened.

Add minced meat, Pinto beans and chopped tomatoes and chopped coriander . Fry until meat lightly coloured. Pour 1 ½ cups water and vinegar into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve chilli con carne with fluffy rice, or tortilla bread.

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Keema naan

Keema or qeema naan is a kind of stuffed meat bread. Maybe you asked what kind of meat is in the qeema naan.

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It might be minced beef or lamb. It’s absolutely super easy to prepare keema naan, t’s absolutely mouthwatering bread and it’s absolutely perfect 🙂

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Ingredients for dough

  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 100 ml yogurt
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 150 ml water
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

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Ingredients for filling

  • 300 g minced meat ( beef or lamb)
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and chilli flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric

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Method

First we prepare meat mixture: heat the oil in a pan, add chopped onion and sauté until soft, add minced meat and all above mentioned spices. Let to cook meat until turn into brown. Set aside.

 

 

For making dough:

In a bowl with 100 ml warm water, add sugar and yeast. Mix together and let to sit for 15 minutes until surface of water is bubbly and foam.

In a bowl with flour, add salt, yeast, yogurt, oil and water. Mix together and knead well for 2-3 minutes.

Drop oil on the dough and cover it with a towel. Place the dough in a warm corner and let the dough rise until doubled in size. (it will take 2-3 hours).

 

Knead the dough until all the air is expelled.

Now place the dough on a floured surface and divide it into 5 pieces.

Take a dough and roll it with rolling pin. Put some of meat mixture in the centre of dough, Pinch all corners together. And give a round shape to the dough. Using bottom of a wooden spoon make holes all over the dough. Brush top of the dough with yogurt.

 

Heat a non stick pan and place the dough in it, until cooked from the bottom. Flip to the other side and let it cook until golden brown in colour. Once naan baked transfer it to a plate and brush it with melted butter.

 

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Persian petit meatballs ( Kofteh rizeh Yazdi)

In Iranian cooking ‘ Kofteh’ or ‘ Kofta’ is a kind of meat ball. Kofteh means pounded meat in Persian language. Meat ball or Kofta is made from ground meat such as: mutton, beef, lamb and chicken, along with aromatic fresh or dried herbs, nuts, fruits and eggs.

Kofteh is usually shaped into balls and round but sometimes kofteh is in cigar-shape too. Kofteh , kupta, kofta, kufta …. are in different sizes from giant ones to medium and petit kofteh.

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Some of cities in Iran are well known for their Kofta recipes. Tabriz an ancient city in NW of Iran is known for having Giant Kofteh Tabrizi recipe, that is one of the most famous and popular kofteh in Iran. This dish includes a giant meat ball made from meat, rice, yellow split peas, aromatic herbs and spices.

Kofteh Isphahani, kofteh Shirazi, Kofteh Kermanshahi, Kofteh Yazdi, are other type of Persian meatballs from different areas in Iran.

Kofteh sometimes is stuffed with nuts, eggs or fruits and sometimes are normal kofta.

Petit kofteh might be served with Persian flat bread or with rice, pickles, yogurt and salad.

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Today I made Yazdi Kofteh rizeh ( petit kofteh), that takes its name after the Yazd an ancient city in central Iran. Yazd is an ancient city in Iran and is recognised as a world Heritage site by UNESCO. Yazd is well  known for its special architecture that its nickname is ‘ wind catcher’ or ‘ Badgir’. Also this city is well known for having its Zoroastrian ancient fire temple, Qantas (under ground water channels to transport water from water well to surface for irrigation and drinking) and Yakhchal ( yakh meaning ice and chaal meaning pit) is an ancient type of evaporative cooler, it used to create ice in the winter and store it in the summer time.

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Ingredients

350g minced meat ( half beef/ half lamb)

1 onion, grated

Handful cherry tomatoes

1 egg

3 tbsp freshly chopped chives or coriander

2 tbsp gram flour

½ tsp turmeric

Salt and chilli pepper to taste

Olive oil

 

Method

Peel the onion and grate it. Extract juice from grated onion . Add all ingredients to grated onion. Mix well until combine together.

Shape the meat mixture into little balls, the size of a walnut. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add meat balls . Cook until brown. Then add ¼ cup water and cherry tomatoes to the meat balls and let the cook for 10 minutes with the lid partially covering the pan.

I served meat balls with steamed rice-potato but as I mentioned it might be served with flat bread and salad, yogurt and pickles on the side.

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Spicy pan fried Kebab

Kebab could be   grilled  or simply cooked in a pan. Main ingredient is ground or diced lamb, beef or chicken ( or mixture of all) alongside with vegetables.

Today i cooked pan fried kebab with minced meat with fried potatoes and tomatoes.

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Ingredients
270 g ground beef/lamb
2 medium onion
2 large potatoes
2 medium tomatoes
Small bunch of coriander
20 g fresh ginger
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
Salt – pepper powder to taste
Olive oil

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Preparation
Chop roughly onions, ginger and coriander. Add to the blender and puree it. Put ground meat in a bowl,add all spices plus green mixture. Mix all together and knead it very well.
Place a pan over medium heat, splash oil. You could spread meat mixture in the pan OR use skewer, as i have done. So, start spreading meat on the skewer by opening and closing your finger in order to stick meat to the skewer. Then place kebab skewers in the pan and allow to cook over medium heat. If you like your kebab be smokey, you could put a piece of burned charcoal or broken twigs  and it will give smoky smell to pan kebabs.
Meanwhile, kebabs is cooking, we can prepare potatoes and tomatoes. Cut them into quarters. Heat the pan, splash oil, add turmeric to the potatoes and and fry them, then add chopped tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
That’s it.
You could serve pan kebab either plain or with rice or bread.
Enjoy