A taste of Persia – Kabab Koobideh

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply by Sabrina Ghayour.

Makes 5-6 large kebabs or 10-12 small patties

A signature Persian dish, the word kebab – or kabab, as the Persians call it – means ‘to grill’, usually over fire. Serve street food-style with flatbreads or as a satisfying dinner accompanied by grilled vegetables and flavourful saffron rice.

Ingredients :

1 kg minced lamb (30 per cent fat is essential)
2 large onions, minced in a food processor and drained of any liquid or very finely chopped
2 level tbsp ground turmeric
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatoes
Flatbreads, to serve

Method :

  1. Put all the main ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, work them together well, pummelling the meat mixture for several minutes into a smooth paste.
  2. To make large kebabs, divide the mixture into 5-6 portions and form each portion around a flat sword skewer about 25cm long. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the meat widthways from one end of the kebab to the other to create the classic ridges.
  3. Cook the kebabs over a charcoal barbecue that has been burning for about 30 minutes, alongside the whole tomatoes. The trick is to cook them for about 10-15 minutes in total, until the meat is browned and cooked through, while turning them every 2 minutes to help the fat render and prevent the kebabs from burning.
  4. To make small kebabs, preheat your oven to its highest setting (with fan if it has one). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Divide the mixture into 10-12 portions, form into sausages, then flatten and pinch to create ridges. Place on the baking tray with the tomatoes and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Serve the kebabs and tomatoes immediately on the flatbreads so the bread absorbs the juices.

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