February 9, 2015

chicken kabab koobideh

The inspiration to make this at home started after our memorable dinner experience at Persepolis, a Greek and Persian restaurant we recently tried in Savannah, where we had a taste of Persian cuisine for the first time. 

Kabab Koobideh is a uniquely flavored Iranian grilled chicken, beef or lamb cooked with traditional Middle Eastern spices. I love how grilling the meat intensifies the flavor of the spices. I also like the idea of using ground meat as it allows the spices to get distributed better and evenly into the mixture. I had to think of other ways to shape the meat without the traditional wide metal skewers. On the flat side of a small wood chopping board, I formed the mixture into narrow logs using a spatula. Then I carefully transferred them to the grill pan and flattened them (as pictured below). The ground chicken meat cooked fast and retained it's nice shape.

Shown above, (1) I used my favorite stove top grill pan to cook the chicken kebab koobideh (2) ready for plating (3) a pinch of saffron soaked for a few minutes in hot water is all that's needed to flavor and give the rice an intense yellow color (4) combination of exotic spices.

It was only upon learning more about this recipe that I was introduced to advieh. It's an aromatic Persian spice mix that's a blend of cumin, cardamom, coriander and rose petals to name a few. The exotic world of spices is amazing. We always appreciate trying new flavors like this.

kebab koobideh served on a bed of saffron rice sprinkled with toasted pistachios

Food discovery has always been a part of our itinerary when we travel. We have fun seeking interesting restaurants offering local and international cuisine. Thanks to informative apps and popular websites, looking for restaurants is now faster, easier and more interesting. Ideas that I get from our occasional food trips and dining experiences often inspire me to cook at home.

For the recipe...

1.5 lbs. ground chicken breast
15 g parsley, finely chopped
1 onion (about 1/2 cup), grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons Advieh (Persian spice mix)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of coriander and saffron juice (optional)

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Form into narrow logs then flatten on the grill or grill pan. Grill both sides until well done. Serve on a bed of saffron rice.


Cook basmati rice according to directions. Soak a pinch of saffron in hot water for a few minutes or until orange in color. Scoop half of the rice into a bowl and gradually pour in the saffron (strands and juice) then toss the rice until it turns yellow. Spoon the yellow rice on top of the white rice. Place the kebab koobideh on top of the rice. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped toasted pictachios. Garnish with parsley and sliced tomatoes.

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