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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Persian eggplant stew with chicken

Eggplant ( aubergine) stew is a traditional and classic Persian dish. Eggplant is called bademjan in Farsi and stew is called khoresht.  So if you are eggplant lover , this stew is perfect for you. I love this dish. I can have this stew once a week without any complaining.

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Eggplant stew can be made with chicken, lamb or beef. All are equally good in this dish.

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Ingredients
2 eggplants
2 onions cut into lengthwise and fry
2 cloves of garlic
2 chicken breast or legs (but you can choose beef or lamb meat)
1-2 medium size tomatoes cut into half
Salt-red chili powder to taste
1 Tbsp saffron water (if not available use turmeric)
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Vegetable oil

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Preparation
Peel skin off egg plant. Cut into lengthwise or circle shapes. Put some salt on cut eggplants to excess moisture and the bitterness. By this way, eggplants will fry faster and would not soak too much oil. Before frying the eggplants wrap the eggplants in a kitchen towel and pressing which removes all salty water.

 


In a pot with water, add one of chopped onion , garlic and chicken. Leave it to cook. if there is leftover chicken juice, add it to the stew.
Fry a the eggplants until both sides are nicely golden. Fry other chopped onion. Then fry the cooked chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes.  Now in a pot with fried chicken, add eggplants, fried onions,  tomatoes, spices, saffron water, lemon juice. Add leftover chicken juice and cook for 20 minutes over a low heat.
Once your delicious eggplant stew is ready, serve it with rice or flat bread. Enjoy it

 

 

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Traditional Samarkand Polow

This gorgeous rice dish is popular in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It can be made with lamb, beef or chicken, garlic , quail eggs and spices such as cumin that gives the dish very nice taste.

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Ingredients

2 cups rice

300g diced lamb meat

2 large orange , yellow or white carrots, cut into thick matchsticks

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

4 hard boiled quail’s eggs

3 tbsp Ghee or butter ( you can use sunflower as well)

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste

 

Method

cook the rice with garlic cloves and set aside.

Heat the Ghee in a pan, add meat and brown the lamb over a medium heat, then add cumin powder and stirring for a minute. Remove it to a pot, add water and let the meat cook until is tender.

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Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped onion. Stirring occasionally until softened , remove from the pan. Add carrots and fry until is tender.

Once meat is cooked, add all fried ingredients to the meat , seasoning with salt and chilli powder, Then add rice and gently mix all together.

Serve the rice in a plate and circle the hard boiled quail’s eggs around the rice.

 

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Persian Spicy Prawn and Rice

Geographically Persian Gulf form southern border of Iran. Therefore, seafood is a significant part of diet of inhabitants of the provinces that are located around the Persian Gulf.

Today I have made the Persian Gulf style prawn & rice. Prawn is called ‘ maygoo’ in Persian language. This is an easy dish, just make it and eat it. Spicy ( but not tooooo hot), with lovely colour and flavourful.

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Ingredients

200g Persian or Basmati rice

300g prawn or shrimp

2cups coriander (cilantro), freshly chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, grated

3tbsp tomato paste

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste

Butter or oil

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Method

Rinse prawn (shrimp) with cold water and set aside.

Wash the rice. In a non stick pot with salted water and rice add oil (butter). Bring it to a boil. Add tomato paste give a stir. Add chopped coriander. Cover the pot and simmer the rice for about 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat.

 

Meanwhile. Heat the oil (butter) in a saucepan and sauté onion until tender. Add prawn and fry it for 5 minutes. Add grated garlic and all above mentioned spices to the prawn and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

 

Sprinkle prawn mixture on rice and mix together.

Serve with salad or pickles.

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Persian Dill and Fava Beans Rice with Lamb Shank

Dill/fava beans rice with lamb shanks is one of the mosttttttt tastiest and popular dishes in Iran and usually serves in especial occasions and events. Rice with fava beans ( broad beans) is called ‘ Bahagli polow’ in Farsi and the beautiful tender lamb shanks which is called ‘ Mahicheh’ in Farsi is a luxurious dish that was one of favourite dishes of Persian king from Safavid dynasty ( 400 years ago).

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You might make this dish either with chicken breast/thigh or lamb shank.
I hope you have chance to try this gorgeous meal.

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Ingredients
4 cups rice
2 pieces lamb shanks
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cups cooked fava beans
150 g dried dill ( fresh dill)
1tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp rose petals powder
¼ tsp cardamom
½ tsp turmeric
Saffron threads
1 orange
1 lime
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
2 small stalks of parsley ( it could be rosemary, thyme or parsley as well)
Salt- chili powder
Oil
Butter

Preparation
Heat the oil in a pan. Add chopped onions with turmeric and cinnamon powder and sauté until soft. Wash and drain lamb shanks. Add the meat to the onions and fry for about 15 minutes or until turns brown.


Zest the lime. In a bowl with orange juice, add lime peel add pinch of chili powder and saffron thread, mix all together. Add this juice to the fried meat. Pour 1 liter water into the meat pot and let it to cook until tender. Once it’s cooked season it with salt.
Cook fava beans then peel the skin off of the beans. Set aside.


Wash the rice. Pour the rice into salted water and soak it for about 1 hour. In a large pan, bring water to boil. Pour off salted water from rice and pour it into boiling water. Let to boil for 10 minutes. Add cooked beans just before strain the rice.


Drain and rinse the rice with tapped water. In a large pot/pan apply oil. Take potato slices one by one. Put one parsley leave on the potato slice ( as you see in the photo) . Apply all potato slices across the pot. Add a layer of rice, then spread dried dill top of the rice, then pinch of rose petals powder and at the end pinch of cardamom powder. Then second layer of rice and again some dried dill, rose petals and cardamom powder. Place some pieces of butter top of the rice, it will give so good taste to the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and let to cook for 20 minutes with low heat.
Once it is ready. Serve the rice and garnish with saffron ( if you like) and remove crusty potatoes and serve with rice, lamb shanks, pickles , salad or yogurt.

 

 

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