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What Is Kabab Koobideh?

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  • Written By: B. Chisholm
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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The kabab koobideh is a traditional Iranian meat skewer usually cooked over the coals. It is mildly seasoned with turmeric, saffron and onion. Most Iranian dishes are accompanied by rice or flat breads and sweet tea. The accompaniments may differ from region to region in the country.

Iran is centrally situated in South Western Asia and has a long history dating back to the Persian Empire. Due to its central location, many people, cultures and, of course, cuisines, have passed through it and influenced what is now known as traditional Iranian fare. It is now an Islamic country which also influences its cuisine.

The meat used to make kabab koobideh depends on what is available. Lamb is the most commonly used meat in many Iranian dishes, including the kabab koobideh, followed by kid, or baby goat. Chicken or beef may also be used but pork is never used, as it is not halaal.

Whichever meat is used, it is ground up and mixed with grated onion and sometimes garlic, depending on which recipe is used. The meat is seasoned lightly with turmeric, saffron, salt and paper. Again, recipes may differ slightly and depend on the meat being used. The mixture is then mixed together well to ensure even distribution of the seasoning, onion and garlic.

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To make the threading of the kabab koobideh easier, the mixture should be refrigerated, preferably overnight. The meat is then threaded onto a skewer tightly to prevent it from falling off during cooking. If no skewers are available they may be wrapped in tin foil but this is not the authentic manner of cooking a kabab koobideh.

Traditionally, the kabab koobideh is then cooked over hot coals. In the absence of open fires they may be grilled although doing them under the grill will mean an absence of the delicious smoky flavor obtained from cooking over coals. They are cooked until well done and served hot.

A traditional Iranian meal is served spread on beautiful carpets covered in a white cloth. Shoes are removed on entering and hands fastidiously washed. All the food is set out on the cloth and the people sit on soft cushions around it. Food is eaten with the right hand and in general no utensils are used as the food is served in such a manner as to make eating with the hands easy, as is the case with the kabab koobideh.

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