Persian Kebab Kubideh

Persian Kebab Kubideh are simple grilled beef and lamb kebabs served with a mast o khiar herbal  yogurt dipping sauce and chelou (rice).
Persian Kebab Kubideh

Persian Kebab Kubideh

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Persian Kebab Kubideh is my recipe of the day with the blogging group  Improv  Cooking  Challenge.

Each month we challenge ourselves to create recipes using two diverse ingredients. For both fun  and flavor. We are posting recipes for sumac and yogurt this  month.

I grabbed the idea and ran with it, choosing to make Persian kebab kubideh with a  mast o khiar yogurt  dip and rice. Plus a few extra things.

Persian Kebab Kubideh

What is Kubideh?

Kubideh is a type  of  Persian kebab (from Iranian cuisine). The kebabs are made with ground meats: lamb, beef,  or a combination. Onions are an integral part of the seasoning. Other spices can vary.

Kebab Kubideh Recipe Grilled

Kubideh  is most often grilled, as the charred flavor really adds  to the experience. But don’t be  fooled.  If your grill  day is rained out  these can also be cooked in a skillet,  in an  oven, or even an air-fryer. Think torpedo shaped hamburgers and you’ll  do fine.

What Kind of  Meat for Kubideh?

Ground  meat is suitable for kubideh. I use a mixture of ground beef  and ground lamb because I prefer that flavor. Feel free to use all beef or all lamb as you prefer. This is also  done  with boneless loin  of  lamb filet that is marinated in  onion juice. It’s wonderful,  but I doubt you’ll easily find the  loin. You could take lamb chops and remove the meat and butterfly. Refer  to my recipe for lamb chops if you are doing off-blog cooking  there.

Skewers for Kubideh?

Generally flat swordlike skewers are used for this. I have some  thin metal Turkish skewers-  but not really enough for all these kebabs. I  used  my  tabletop  grill for this as well. Since  I didn’t want to put these on thin  wooden skewers,  I did them without. The deal  with the thin skewers is the  propensity for the kebabs to try to come off. Those skewers also  take up premium grill space.

With the sword skewers, it is usual to elevate them from the grate, as obviously,  the  meat is soft and the skewers might try to  sink if  you’re not careful. Grill experts talk  of making special things to  lift those big skewers on,  but you can also get a kebab rack  for grills.

Still, I do them  without. Let  the meat rest after  shaping into torpedo shaped kebabs. Put them gently  onto an  oiled grate. And let them  cook until  they get decent grill marks, they  are easy enough to  turn  over gently.  Use a spatula turner on  the  bottom, if they try to stick.

Then turn the grill  to low and let them finish up. If you do the kebabs off skewer and want those for presentation,  just tuck small  skewers into each to  serve at the table. And one thing is certain- those skewers won’t be burned!

What Sides Go With Kubideh?

Kubideh is  usually served with chelou (basmati  rice) which can be cooked with “tadig”  or a layer of  potatoes or rice at the bottom of the  pot. This gets crisp and deliciously crunchy. Or you  can  just steam  it.  No big deal.

The rice will be sprinkled with sumac  and occasionally topped with a raw  egg  yolk to stir  in.

I adore the lemony taste of sumac  and will  also  add a bit of  lemon to boost that flavor. You decide.

Besides rice,  good  sides include a yogurt  dip called mast-o-khiar. Or you can just have  homemade  yogurt. Persian  families would never dream  of  eating a meal  without yogurt somewhere.

As  well, fresh vegetables and herbs are de rigeur. So plan  on having a  pile of various  herbs,  such as parsley  and dill. A Persian salad is also wonderful. If it starts seeming like food  overload,  just slice some  tomatoes and onion.

And don’t  forget the warm  pita bread.  I know this is great with rice,  but there is something to be  said for putting a torpedo of kubideh into a wedge of pita and topping  with yogurt, herbs and onion  or tomato. It’s very “gyro” (only better!).

Not  shown  in  my photo, but  I did do simple grilled  asparagus  with  this. Drizzle with  evoo and add s&p and a little garlic. It’s gangbusters  dipped in  the yogurt  sauce.

Improv Cooking Challenge

Improv Cooking Challenge

Sumac and Yogurt

Persian Kebab Kubideh

Persian Kebab Kubideh

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Persian Kebab Kubideh

Persian Kebab Kubideh

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Persian
Servings 6


  • Grill



  • 1 pound ground beef (patted dry)
  • 1 pound ground lamb (patted dry)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Mast o Khiar (yield 1-1/4 cups)

  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled and grated and squeezed dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (minced)
  • 1 scallion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon onion juice (from the onions used in the kebabs or use water)


  • Steamed basmatic rice
  • sumac
  • soft butter
  • sliced lemon
  • sliced tomatoes
  • thinly sliced onion
  • warm pita bread


  • Microwave the chopped onion for three minutes.
  • Puree the onion in a food processor and press out the onion juice in a sieve or cheesecloth (please save the juice for the yogurt dip).
  • Mix the dry onion puree with the other kebab ingredients until very well mixed.
  • Shape meat mixture into 12 torpedo shaped kebabs and let rest on a foil lined baking sheet for at least 15 minutes (work on other stuff).
  • Mix the ingredients for the yogurt dip and set aside.
  • Prepare anything else you will be using, such as tomato, onion and rice.
  • Oil a grill grate and set to high.
  • Gently place kebabs on the hot grill and cook to get grill marks.
  • Gently turn over. If they try to stick, use a pancake turner. Do not move them excessively.
  • Once turned, immediately turn the grill to low and continue cooking until the internal temp is 160F.
  • Serve kebabs with steamed rice sprinkled with sumac and dotted with soft butter. You can also top the rice with an egg yolk (I did not).
  • Also serve with onion, tomato, lemon slices and warmed pita bread.
  • I also grilled asparagus for my dinner.
  • Plan on two kebabs per person, maybe three.


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