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
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.
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
Sumac and Yogurt
- A Healthy Salad with Sumac Yogurt Dressing by Sneha’s Recipe
- Curried Eggplant and Chickpea Fatteh by Magical Ingredients
- Garlic and Herb Marinated Chicken Thighs by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Iranian Beef Stew with Yogurt Sauce by Pandemonium Noshery
- Mediterranean Chicken Gyro by Cookaholic Wife
- Mussakhan (Roast Chicken With Sumac and Red Onions) by Making Miracles
- Persian Kebab Kubideh by Palatable Pastime
Persian Kebab Kubideh
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Persian Kebab Kubideh
Persian Kebab Kubideh
- 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
- 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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One of my favorite dishes. Yours sounds so good Sue.
These sound incredibly flavorful – what a gorgeous meal this makes!
That sounds like the perfect summer meal – grilling because it’s too hot and getting to eat the cold yogurt dip!
Wow! This is an amazing and flavorful meal! Love it!