Served on skewers over a bed of rice, the Chelow Kabab is Iran’s national dish. There are almost as many variations on the Chelow Kabab as there are chefs, as the seasonings can vary. This is a more traditional, rather basic recipe, with just a few herbs for seasoning. But believe me, it is packed full of flavor.
Chelow Kabab is best prepared on a grille, if you want the traditional and authentic flavor. I prefer real hardwood lump charcoal, but you could also use a gas grille with some good quality wood chips. Just please do not use petrol-based charcoal briquettes – they are not only bad for your health, they will in no way produce Chelow Kabab that is true to real Iranian cuisine.
Chelow Kabab Recipe-
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed fine
- 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
You will need:
- 4 grilling skewers – I like to use stainless steel kabab skewers, but you can use wooden skewers as well. If using wood, be sure to soak them in water for about an hour before grilling.
- A grille, either a charcoal grille or a propane gas grille (or a combination grille)
- Premium quality hardwood lump charcoal or wood smoking chips (if using gas)
- Preheat your grille to medium high temperature.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Divide the combined mixture into four equal parts; form each portion into a ball.
- Drive a skewer through the center of each meatball.
- Lay the balls on a clean flat surface, and press the balls out into long, flattened cigar shapes.
- Place the prepared kababs on the grill and cook for about 4-6 minutes each side. You want the meat to be cooked through and well done, but do not leave them on the grille too long, or they will lose the juiciness that is so wonderful.
- Serve your Chelow Kabab while still nice and warm, with freshly cooked rice or pita bread, and a salad – tabbouleh goes especially well with this meal.
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