Saturday, January 8, 2011
Kebab E-Koobideh ...Iranian Grills!
This is my favourite Iranian kabab dish, it is served in the famous Chelo Kabab platter, Chelo is basically rice, so there you have it, rice and meat...yum! it is the simplicity of this dish that makes it delicious, Persian food allows you to taste the meat, this cuisine is so wonderfully minimal that it is almost a shame to use as many masala’s as we do to make one curry. They keep everything to a bare minimum and from the looks of it all the emphasis is on the quality and cuts of meat and the coal and flame. They grill to perfection, no moisture is lost and certainly no flavour is lost!
This ‘keema’ mix is moulded on skewers and grilled for barely 5 minutes on a hot coal bbq grill. We were lucky to find flat skewers so when you turn the skewer the meat doesn’t get free and move separately. These are eaten with plain saffron rice, what I do is boil rice as normal, cool and sauté is butter and ½ tsp of Sumac powder or oregano, then I pour a mix of few strands of saffron dissolved in the juice of half a lemon. Since Andy prefers a moister meal I make some ‘Thoum’ dip with it, garlic paste blended with yoghurt and mayo (ratio 2:1), seasoned with salt. Also grill some whole tomatoes and onions, goes very well with the whole meal. Ohhh better still, grill the heads of spring onions, keep all the light green part of the stalk, it turns out buttery, oniony and delicious, don’t forget to baste it when you baste the meat. We use a very very simple basting across the board, unless a BBQ recipe suggests otherwise, I heat olive oil and melt butter in it, 100 gms of butter, 100 ml of olive oil. This can be made into several variants with add-ons like garlic for fish grills, honey for BBQ sauce grills, lemon for simple chicken grills, coarse sea salt and pepper for lamb (add a sprig of thyme for a true kick, better still, baste with a bunch of thyme sprigs.... oh man ... I am totally getting ahead of myself, this needs to be in a BBQ blog some other time!)
½ kg minced lamb
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 small red onions, grated
1 tsp sumac powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 large egg, beaten
Salt & Pepper
Mix all the ingredients together well, use your hands so you can make sure that the mixture is well blend, sticky and gooey by the end of it. Refrigerate overnight, a whole day is even better. Remove from the fridge and mix well once more. Shape like seekh kebabs on a skewer, moisten your hands with water to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers instead of the skewers. If you aren’t using a coal grill or BBQ then you can shape these on a skewer, slide off on to a foil plate and bake on 200 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes, turn only once, you don’t have to cook these too long because the mince used is very fine. Serve with saffron rice and a dip of hung yoghurt, grated cucumber, onions and a sprinkle of sumac powder.