Kabab Koobideh Recipe: How to Make Authentic Persian Kebabs

Kabab Koobideh Recipe

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Today, allow me to introduce you to a classic Persian dish in the art of preparing: Kabab Koobideh. In just a few quick moves, the perfectly juicy and well-savored skewers are at your table. Kabab Koobideh is one of the classic favorites of Persian cuisine, usually done by grilling ground lamb and beef or both. It shares the stage with other renowned dishes like Joojeh Kabab, embodying the rich and diverse flavors of Iranian culinary traditions. Its special simplicity enchants, bringing forth a rich flavor that represents all of what Iranian cuisine is about.

Kabab Koobideh Recipe


  • Ground Lamb or Beef: 2.2 pounds (1 kg)
  • Onions (medium-sized): 3, finely grated
  • Baking Soda: 2 teaspoons
  • Saffron (ground): ½ teaspoon
  • Black Pepper: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt: 3 teaspoons
  • Butter: ½ cup (melted)
  • Tomatoes: 4, halved

Step 1: Prepare the Onions

Peel 3 medium onions and grate them using a medium-sized grater. Firmly squeeze the grated onion with your hands to extract as much water as possible, aiming for a final weight of about 300 grams. Place the drained onions in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill.

Step 2: Mix the Meat

After chilling the onions, take them out of the refrigerator. In a large bowl, combine the onions with 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of minced lamb or beef, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 3 teaspoons of salt.

Step 3: Knead the Mixture

Use your hands to knead the mixture thoroughly for approximately 10 minutes, ensuring it becomes completely smooth and well-combined.

Step 4: Refrigerate the Meat

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to firm up.

Step 5: Prepare Saffron

While the meat is chilling, prepare the saffron infusion. Crush ½ teaspoon of saffron threads and mix them with 2 tablespoons of boiling water in a small bowl. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Make Saffron Butter

Melt ½ cup of butter in a pan or microwave. Once the saffron has infused, strain it into the melted butter and mix well. Set aside for later use.

Step 7: Form the Kebabs

After the meat has chilled, prepare a bowl of water to moisten your hands. Take the meat out of the refrigerator. Grab 100 to 120 grams of the meat mixture and thread it onto a skewer, using wet hands to shape it evenly along the length.

Step 8: Heat the Grill

Light up charcoal in a brazier or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat, ensuring it’s ready for the kebabs.

Step 9: Grill the Kebabs

Place the skewered meat on the grill. After 10 to 15 seconds, turn the skewers for the first time. Continue to turn them every few seconds to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.

Step 10: Grill the Tomatoes

While the kebabs are grilling, skewer 4 halved tomatoes and place them on the grill. Cook until they are soft and slightly charred.

Step 11: Apply Saffron Butter

Halfway through grilling, brush the kebabs with the saffron-infused butter to enhance their flavor and keep them moist.

Step 12: Serve

Once cooked, remove the kebabs and tomatoes from the grill. Slide the kebabs off the skewers and arrange them on a serving platter along with the grilled tomatoes.

Step 13: Garnish and Enjoy

Serve the Kabab Koobideh with fresh bread or basmati rice. Sprinkle sumac over the kebabs for an added flavor boost.


Avoid washing the meat before mincing, as water can affect its binding properties and make skewering difficult.
Adjust the seasoning according to taste, and feel free to add or reduce the amount of saffron based on your preference.

Recipe Summary

To prepare Kabab Koobideh, begin by grating and draining onions, then mixing them with minced meat, baking soda, salt, and pepper. After kneading the mixture, refrigerate for 2 hours. Prepare a saffron infusion and mix it with melted butter. Shape the meat onto skewers and grill alongside tomato halves, turning frequently for even cooking. Brush with saffron butter during grilling and serve the kebabs with bread or rice, sprinkled with sumac for added flavor.

category: Lunch
Update by in Sunday 7 April 2024

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