There has never been a dish I have made that has quite the intriguing history that Persian Kabab Koobideh does. The story goes, during medieval times, Persian warriors used their swords to roast meat over an open fire. The sword would heat up, cooking the meat evenly from both the outside and the inside. This technique resulted in a cultural tradition of roasting meat on skewers that was passed down through the ages and shared across the world by many cultures.
In Iran, Kabab Koobideh (beef kabobs) is one of the most popular signature dishes in their culture. Often, it is prepared from a mix of lamb and beef combined with onions and spices that give the kabab it’s distinct flavor. However, like most recipes, over the years, each family has developed their own version of this timeless classic by choosing the meats, spices, and herbs they like best in their koobideh.
I have a life-long Persian friend named Ameneh, who is more like a sister to me than a friend. Ameneh recently taught me to make her version of Kabob Koobideh. Since I first tasted Ameneh’s koobideh, it has been one of my favorite dishes in Persian cuisine. It’s also one of the more straightforward recipes to make. Since traditional Persian methods carefully prepare each meal with fresh cut vegetables, herbs, spices, and meats, many times the recipes can be time-consuming to prepare and to cook. That’s not the case with Kabob Koobideh. Once your rice and salad are made (which you should prepare ahead of time), you can have an authentic Persian dinner on your table in less than 30 minutes. Since I live in Minnesota, grilling outside in below zero temperatures doesn’t exactly entice me to fire up the grill. So, during the colder months, I use an indoor countertop grill. It works like a charm, and the results are tender, delicious kabobs every time.
My favorite way to enjoy Kabob Koobideh is with Basmati rice with potato tahdig, Maast O Kiar yogurt dish, Torshi, Lavash bread, and Salad Shirazi. A traditional beverage served with Iranian Kababs is yogurt drink called Doogh. Sprinkle a bit of with dried mint or rose petals on top for a refreshing sip between bites. There is no one way to enjoy Kabob Koobideh so however you choose to eat it, this may become one of your favorite Persian recipes too.
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