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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Filo Parcels with Camembert Cheese

These pastry parcels are stuffed with Camembert cheese and Cranberry jam. Soooooooo delicious and at the same time very simple and easy recipe for making a perfect dinner or lunch. You can bake them in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes or fry in a pan.

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Ingredients

  • 250g Camembert cheese

  • Filo pastry sheets

  • Cranberry sauce

  • unsalted butter, melted

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How to make it

You can eat Camembert cheese with or without rind. I just cut it off. Then Cut the cheese into pieces.Brush one filo square lightly with melted butter. Lay second filo pastry on top and brush again.

Place 2 large pieces of Camembert cheese in the middle of filo and top it with a 1 tbps of the cranberry sauce. Fold the pastry lengthwise and fold each end too.

Continue with other filo sheets and cheese. Keep the remaining of cranberry sauce for the serving time.

Melt the butter in a pan. Place prepared parcels in the pan and fry them until golden and crisp. Serve these crispy filo parcels warm with rocket leaves and cranberry sauce.

 

 

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Filo parcels with Camembert cheese

Ingredients

  • 250g Camembert cheese

  • Filo pastry sheets

  • Cranberry sauce

  • unsalted butter, melted

How to make it

You can eat Camembert cheese with or without rind. I just cut it off. Then Cut the cheese into pieces.

Brush one filo square lightly with melted butter. Lay second filo pastry on top and brush again.

Place 2 large pieces of Camembert cheese in the middle of filo and top it with a 1 tbps of the cranberry sauce. Fold the pastry lengthwise and fold each end too.

Continue with other filo sheets and cheese. Keep the remaining of cranberry sauce for the serving time.

Melt the butter in a pan. Place prepared parcels in the pan and fry them until golden and crisp.

Serve these crispy filo parcels warm with rocket leaves and cranberry sauce.

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Potato Samosa

 Samosa or as we say in Farsi sambose  is a fried , boiled or baked pastry with different filling such as vegetables, meat and spices.

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Nowadays, samosa is a  very popular dish in most of countries. In my country Iran, In South and East of country  samosa is a snack but  in old days it was as a main course in Khorasan  province( East) of Iran. Preparing this dish is very easy .

Ingredients

Filo pastry
2 cooked boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Small bunch of parsley
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. flour
butter
Oil

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Preparation

Finely chop parsley. Heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped potatoes, parsley, turmeric, season with salt and chilli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix 2 tbsp .flour with 2-3 tbsp. water and set aside.

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Brush melted butter on a sheet of filo pastry. Put one full spoon of potato mixture on filo pastry and roll it. Do not overfill because will be difficult to roll up. Then, apply flour glue on two ends of rolled filo and fold it upon, and seal two ends properly. Repeat with remaining of ingredients.
Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry rolled pastries until golden brown. Drain on paper towel to get rid of extra oil. Serve this tasty crunchy samosa with pickled jalapeno .

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Samosa

Ingredients

Filo pastry
2 cooked boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Small bunch of parsley
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. flour
butter
Oil

Preparation

Finely chop parsley. Heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped potatoes, parsley, turmeric, season with salt and chilli. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix 2 tbsp .flour with 2-3 tbsp. water and set aside.

Brush melted butter on a sheet of filo pastry. Put one full spoon of potato mixture on filo pastry and roll it. Do not overfill because will be difficult to roll up. Then, apply flour glue on two ends of rolled filo and fold it upon, and seal two ends properly. Repeat with remaining of ingredients.
Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry rolled pastries until golden brown. Drain on paper towel to get rid of extra oil. Serve this tasty crunchy samosa with pickled jalapeno .

Ricotta Cheese Fritters

I think I have mentioned earlier that me and my family love cheese, I mean any type of cheese. So today I had some ricotta cheese in the fridge and I decided to make ricotta fritters. It has a nice crunch outside and creamy on the outside.

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It is pretty easy and quick to make. You can eat as them is or serve it with tomato sauce, both are equally delicious.

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Ingredients

  • 500 g soft ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Freshly grated one lemon / lime zest
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil/mint
  • 2tbsp cream
  • Salt- pepper and paprika to taste
  • Vegetable oil

 

Ingredients for tomato sauce

  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

 

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs with salt- pepper, paprika and zest of lemon or lime. Add the egg mixture and cream to the ricotta. Keep whisking. Then add flour, Parmesan cheese  and chopped basil to the ricotta. Mix together until well combined and set aside.

 

For making tomato sauce: heat the olive oil in a pan add grated garlic, season with salt and pepper and saute for few seconds. Add chopped tomato to garlic oil and cook for 10 minutes and set aside.

 

Now, in a skillet, add good amount of vegetable oil and heat the oil over medium heat.

Using a spoon and add ricotta mixture to the hot oil and let them to for about 3 minutes or until each side golden and crispy.Take them out of the skillet and drain them on a paper towel. Serve ricotta fritter plain or with tomato sauce.

 

 

 

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Carrot Stew with Potatoes and Chicken

Carrot stew is one of best Iranian dishes. Havij is Farsi word for carrot and carrot stew that is called ‘ Khoresht-e Havij’ in Farsi, is a Persian stew that is made with carrots, potatoes and meat (chicken/lamb or beef).

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Carrots with their brilliant colour is lovely ingredient to make carrot stew. There are different recipes for this dish, sometimes combination of carrots with prune or plum that is called khoresht haveej-aloo.

Other recipe is combination of carrots with potatoes and meat. 

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Carrot stew is one of Iranian stews and come originally from Tabriz, an ancient city in NW of Iran. That’s why mostly it’s known as Tabrizi carrot stew. If you prefer sour taste, therefore add some lemon/lime juice to the stew or if you wish sweet taste, simply delete lime juice and add some sugar.

 

Ingredients

  • 300 g chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 300 g baby carrots
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Saffron water
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt   to taste
  • Olive oil

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Preparation
Place chicken in a pot. Add water and let it to cook. If there is left chicken. Once it is cooked, remove it from the pot and fry it in olive oil until turns golden and add return it back to the pot.

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Heat the oil in a pan, add chopped onions. Sauté until just soft. Then add chili powder and turmeric. Stir in for couple of minutes. In other pan, fry baby carrots for 10 minutes.
Fry potato strips as well. Set aside.


In a bowl with cold water, add tomato paste and salt. Mix all together. Pour liquid into the pot with chicken. Add fried carrots, onions, potatoes, saffron water and lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and chili, if needed. Allow to cook for about for 30 minutes over medium heat.
Serve it with rice, salad and pickles.

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Spiced Rice(Tabrizi Advieh Polo)

Spiced rice (advieh pilaf) is a classic Azerbaijani dish in Iran. Spice is called ‘ Advieh’ in Persian language. This is a rice dish made with mixed spices. This mixed spices is not that crazy hot and spicy but mild and full of flavour. Spiced rice is served with chicken cooked in red sauce made with fried onion, tomato paste- Persian saffron water and lime/lemon juice.

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This spiced rice with chicken dish is such a aromatic and delicious meal that would satisfied you.

If you live in Iran, you can get easily mixed spices for rice dishes from Grand bazaar or spice shops and stores but do not worry you can prepare it at home, as I did.Spiced rice is one of dishes for month of Ramadan( Ramzan).

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It is a mixture of different spices with different amount of each one as follow: 3tbsp dried rose petals, ½ nutmeg, 10 cardamom, 1tsp Persian saffron, ۲ cinnamon sticks, ۱ tsp ginger, 1tsp coriander seeds, ½ tsp pepper seeds, 1 tsp clove, 1tsp cumin.

In order to grind your spices , you can go traditional way, and use mortar and pestle or use electric spice grinder.

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After grinding the spices, you should store them and because spices do not like light, air or humidity and heat, is better store them in a jar that is airtight.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Persian rice
  • 2 slices of chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime or lemon
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp Persian saffron water
  • 3 tbsp advieh ( mixed spices for polow/pilaf)
  • 4 tbsp barberry ( zereshk)
  • 3 tbsp almond flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachio
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

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Instructions

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté onion until soft. Heat the oil in other pan, add diced chicken, season with salt and pepper. Fry until change the colour, then add tomato paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Next, add fried onion, lemon juice, 2 tbsp saffron water and ½ cup water to the chicken and allow to cook until reduce the juice. Set aside.

Soak the rice in salted water for 1 hour. Bring the water to a boil. Drain the salted water and pour rice inside the boiled water and cook for 10 minutes. Then using a colander and drain it.

Pour some oil in the pot, layer sliced of potato at the bottom of pot. Layer it with some of par-cooked rice. Sprinkle some of spices . Repeat process. At the end pour remaining of saffron water top of rice. Cove the pot with a lid and allow to cook the rice.

Meanwhile, in a pan with 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp oil, add chopped pistachio, almond flakes and barberry ( zereshk) and fry for a minute.

Serve the rice with chicken stew, fried nuts and fried potatoes from bottom of the pot.

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Potato Soup

With few ingredients you can create a lush and delicious home made comfort potato soup.

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Ingredients

  • 400 g potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 100 g onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 spring onions ( green part)
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • 120 ml cold milk
  • 50 g butter
  • Salt and chilli flakes to taste

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Instructions

Melt the butter in a pan. Add chopped potatoes and onion. Sauté them until softened. Then remove them to a pot. Add chopped spring onions, vegetable stocks, milk and season with salt and chilli flakes. Gently stir and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

Purée the soup, garnish it with freshly chopped herbs and drops of olive oil and serve it.

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Green B Frittata ( Tabrizi Kookoo Loobia Sabz)

Kookoo lobia sabz is a traditional classic dish in Tabriz an ancient city in NW of Iran. This dish is served in especial occasions and for Iftar in month of Ramadan.

Tabrizi green beans is absolutely delicious, full of flavour and colour.

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Kookoo ( kuku) in Iranian cuisine, applies to an eggy dish or an egg-based dish. Kookoo or frittata might be meatless that would be a vegetarian dish and sometimes is made with meat.

Kookoo is a mixture of whipped eggs with different ingredients.

Green beans is called loobia sabz in Farsi language. My today recipe is meatless kookoo loobia sabz but you can add 200g minced beef to the ingredients if you wish.

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Ingredients

  • 350 g baby green beans, finely diced and boiled
  • 100 g carrots, finely diced and boiled
  • 100 g potatoes, finely diced and fried
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped and fried
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp saffron water
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add milk, chopped walnuts, flour, baking powder, saffron water, turmeric and season with salt and pepper. Whisk it well until all ingredients combine together. Saffron smell spread all over the kitchen and it’s lovely.

Next, add fried and boiled vegetables to the egg mixture. Mix all together.

Heat the oil in a deep pan, pour the mixture in the pan. Firmly press the ingredients with the back of the spoon to the down. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook on side ( about 10-15 minutes), then flip over to cook other side.

Serve it in a platter garnish with Zereshk (Barberries) and cut it into pieces.

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Deemaaj

Qazvin in NW of Tehran, is one of ancient cities of Iran. Qazvin was capital of the Persian Empire under Safavids for 57 years.

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Nowadays, this city is one of important cultural and tourism centre in Iran due to archaeological sites, fortifications, monuments, ……. and beautiful sights and for its carpet patterns, poets, pistachio gardens and Sweets such as Baklava.

Name of my recipe is Demaaj or Dumaaj that is a traditional cold food in Qazvin and Tabriz. Dumaaj is a light, traditional and different food. When weather gets warmer, this food would be one of amazing cold food recipes for summer time.

Deemaaj is combination of Persian naan Lavash with aromatic fresh herbs, plain yogurt, cream and walnuts.

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Recipe for this food is slightly different area by area. Deemaj is one of healthy foods for Iftar in month of Ramadan. One of essential ingredients for deemaaj is Persian naan Lavash. If you do not have access to this bread, tortillas bread would be good substitute.

Other ingredient is Iranain Paneer ( cheese) , and good substitute for cheese also would Greek cheese.

Preparing this food is very cheap and easy. You can store it for several days in the fridge. I recommend you to try this refreshing and light meal for a warm summer afternoon.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large Persian Lavash naan bread ( 2 tortillas bread)
  • 2 medium cucumber, finely chopped
  • 4-5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of each herbs includes: dill, chives, mint, coriander, parsley, tarragon
  • 100 g chopped walnuts
  • 100 g Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100 g butter or clotted cream
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • ¾ of a cup water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Break the bread into small pieces and toast it in a pan until crunchy.

Add water to the yogurt and season with salt- pepper and paprika. Whisk it well until you have a thick liquid.

Now, mix yogurt mixture with cream or butter and crumbled cheese. Next, in a large bowl with chopped herbs, cucumber, bread and chopped walnuts, add yogurt mixture and gently combine all ingredients together.

Allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours until firm, then give mini ball shapes and serve it. You can store this lovely bites fresh for few days in the fridge.

 

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Basturma or Basdirma Polo

Basturma or Basdirma polow /pilaf is a traditional Azerbaijani rice dish that is popular in Ardebil an ancient city near Caspian Sea.

The meaning of the word ‘ Basturma or Basdirma’ translates as ‘ to press’ or ‘ pressed’. An other literally meaning of this word is ‘ buried’. Why the name of this dish is Basturma polow? Well I would say, because meat mixture of this dish would be placed between layers of rice and looks like hidden and buried, so is invisible until to be served.

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Flavour and taste of this dish with quince and medlar jam is fantastic.One of Ingredients for this amazing dish are quince and medlar jam or marmalade. Flavour and taste of this dish with quince and medlar jam and saffron is fantastic.

Duck, lamb shank, beef and chicken might be used for this rice dish. I have tried with all and I prefer with red meat and has much better taste, but yet it’s your choice 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Persian or Basmati rice
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 300g diced meat
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp saffron water
  • ½ cup quince jam
  • ½ cup medlar jam
  • 1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of pepper
  • butter
  • vegetable oil

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Method

Wash the rice and soak in salted water for 2 hours.

In a pot with water and one of chopped onions, add diced meat and cook the meat until tender. Heat the oil in a pan and saute other onion on medium heat until soft. Add pinch of pepper, cooked meat, 2 tbps of saffron water, quince and medlar jams and crushed walnuts. Gently mix all together. Let to fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

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Bring the water to a boil, drain salted water of rice and add rice to the boiled water and cook for 10 minutes. Then using a colander and drain parboiled rice.

Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil to the pot. Set slices of potato at the bottom of the pot. Cover top of potatoes with one cup of rice. Then spread meat mixture all over the rice. Finally spread remaining of the rice top of the meat. Press down the rice. Add rest of saffron water and 1 tbsp butter on the rice and cook the rice on medium heat.

Once rice is ready, hold serving platter over the uncovered pot and unmolding the rice into the platter. Voila you have such a lovely golden crust rice..Serve this dish with pickles specially with olives.

Thanks for reading this recipe. I would be glad have your comments.

 

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