Kebab Koobideh


For 10 kababs.
Serving 4-5 (or 2 Iranians)

You will need:
Charcoal Grill prepared with hot coals (or a gas grill set to high or even done under your grill in your oven)
Ten flat 1″ wide stainless steel skewers (available in most Persian or Middle Eastern shops or online – seen pictured above)

* 1.25kg minced Lamb (80-85% lean)
* 1 ½ medium yellow onions grated (& drain excess water)
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (optional)
* 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
* 1 tsp sumac
* 1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
* 1 tsp turmeric powder
* ¼ tsp saffron (Brewed in hot water for 10minutes approx 50-75ml)

Usually we serve this dish with Iranian rice (recipe to follow), grilled tomatoes & a flat bread. With at least one of many Persian yoghurt dips.

For best results use fresh meat, get your butchers to mince it for you if possible. I use Lamb but you can use Beef or even some people choose to combine both. I’ve also experimented with Goat, Kid Goat & Mutton – all were great alternatives, so use your imagination & make the recipe yours!


1. Add the onion pulp & the ground meat to a medium bowl with the salt, pepper, saffron infused water, minced garlic & other spices. Mix all of this together & knead for 5 minutes until it’s full mixed.
2. Cover the bowl & leave in the fridge overnight for best results.
3. Fill up a small bowl with warm tap water, this is for wetting your fingers so the meat does not stick to them when you are making the kebabs.
4. Divide the meat into 10 equal balls (approx fist size).

5. (Watch the video for more help) Wet your hand & get one of the balls of meat in the palm of your hand, place the skewer on top of it and squeeze the meat around the skewer. Once you have it evenly spaced on the skewer – making sure it is solid all the way around with no gaps, start squeezing it from top to bottom, spreading the meat down the skewer, covering the middle section of the skewer. Leave the top and bottom of the skewer clear (this is vital for it to fit across the grill). Wet your fingers with the tap water and keep squeezing and spreading the meat evenly around the skewer. We use our middle & index fingers to squeeze the meat to form little mouth sized bites of kebab.
6. Set the skewer on a tray with raised edges – this way you can put it down without ruining the skewer.

7. When the coals are ready you can start to grill your kebabs. Keep turning regularly to avoid burning & leave a small gap between your skewers so that the heat can circulate & cook the sides as well. The quick turning is also important to cook both sides of the kebabs for a short time so the meat cooks and firms up all around and does not fall off the skewer. Do not overcook the kebabs because they are thin and tend to dry out pretty quickly. Keep turning the kebabs until you achieve the doneness you desire. The kebabs should have a nice grilled color on the outside but still very juicy.
8. When the kebabs are ready serve immediately.

9. To serve, use a piece of flat bread (I often make my own – recipe to follow). Start by loosening the end near the point of the skewer then at the end with handle, grab the kebab and slide it off the skewer onto the serving platter. This is the easiest and safest way to pull the kebabs off the skewer. The kebab juices make the bread delicious me & my brothers often fight over who gets to eat this!
10. Brush melted butter over the kebabs.

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