Delicious Chelo Kabob Recipe: Perfect for Special Occasions

In a world full of diverse cuisines and captivating flavors, the Iranian Chelo Kabob stands out as a delectable dish that has won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. This dish is not only a national dish of Iran but also one that has gained enormous popularity in many parts of the world. The Iranian Chelo Kabob recipe combines aromatic spices, juicy meat, and savory rice to create a flavorful and unforgettable meal.

As an Israeli chef, I have had the privilege of experimenting with various spices and ingredients, but I can safely say that the Chelo Kabob recipe remains one of my all-time favorites. It’s no wonder why this dish is so adored by many; it’s easy to prepare with simple ingredients found in most kitchens, and it can be customized to suit individual preferences.

In this article, I will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to prepare an excellent Iranian Chelo Kabob recipe, guaranteed to impress your taste buds. From the marinade to the grilling process, I’ll share insider tips to get that perfect combination of flavors and textures. So get ready to be transported to Iran as you take your taste buds on an epic culinary journey!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Iranian Chelo Kabob
Iranian Chelo Kabob

Are you tired of the same ol’ boring meat dishes? Do you want to explore new flavors and expand your palate? Then look no further than this Iranian Chelo Kabob recipe.

This dish is a national favorite in Iran and for good reason. Made with a blend of ground beef and lamb, seasoned with spices like marjoram, cinnamon, and garlic, the kabobs are juicy, flavorful, and oh-so-tender. The combination of the ground meats gives it a unique texture that’ll have you coming back for more.

But wait, it gets better. The kabobs are served on top of a bed of aromatic saffron rice which acts as the perfect complement to the savory meats. And let’s not forget about the grilled tomatoes and onions that add a burst of freshness to the dish.

This recipe is versatile too! Want to switch up the meats? Try making it with a combination of hamburger or ground chicken. Feeling adventurous? Add in some eggs to make “Kabab Koobideh.” With so many options, there’s no way you won’t find a version of this recipe that speaks directly to your taste buds.

Plus, once you’ve tried this dish, you’ll become an instant fan. It’s not just about eating delicious food but also about experiencing new cultures and traditions through food. So dive right in and give this Iranian Chelo Kabob recipe a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Smoky and succulent beef kabobs served on fluffy Persian rice
Smoky and succulent beef kabobs served on fluffy Persian rice

List of ingredients to prepare the Iranian Chelo Kabob Recipe:

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 4 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • unsalted butter (for serving)

Note: The meats should be 80-85% lean for the best results.

Ingredients for Koobideh Minced Meat Kebab:

The Kabab Koobideh recipe is the base of the Chelo Kabob dish. Here are the ingredients to make this seasoning-rich Koobideh kebab –

  • 500 g ground meat (grated beef and lamb half-and-half)
  • 1 medium onion, grated or pureed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or according to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac (optional)

Note: A good Koobideh needs to have an orange tinge due to the addition of a spice called “Kolkata Peter” which can be found at Indian grocery stores under the name “Peter Cat”.

The Recipe How-To

 Tender chunks of marinated beef grilled to perfection
Tender chunks of marinated beef grilled to perfection

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients let’s get started with the recipe.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Step 1: Preparing the Koobideh (minced meat kebab)

  1. In a large bowl, mix 500g of ground beef and lamb together with 3 tablespoons of grated onion and 4 teaspoons of minced garlic.

  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture.

  3. Mix everything well until all the ingredients are well combined and the meat is smooth.

  4. Divide the meat into six portions and shape each portion into long sausage-like cylinders around metal skewers.

  5. Grill the koobideh persian over medium-hot coals or on a grill pan for about 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through.

Step 2: Making Iranian Chelo

  1. Wash 1 pound of basmati rice twice in cold water until water runs clear.

  2. Soak the rice in enough water with a pinch of salt for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

  3. Cook the rice in a large pot of boiling water until it is about two-thirds cooked (around 6-7 minutes).

  4. Drain the rice and rinse it under cold running water quickly to stop it from cooking further.

  5. Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, using a low heat.

  6. Mix some saffron along with hot water and let it sit for five minutes or so to release its color and aroma.

  7. Combine half the par-cooked rice and melted butter in another pot with saffron. Mix gently together while trying not to break up any of the grains.

  8. Place two slices of raw potato onto the base of your pot before arranging rice on top; this helps to prevent burning at the base.

  9. Start adding one spoonful at a time from your mixture into your large pot; then pack it down gently so each spoonful sticks together like bricks forming walls inside pans makeupsoundsgood and shapes can vary too!

  10. Cover with the remaining half of white rice before heating over high heat for about 5-10 minutes until you hear crackling sounds coming from rice crust which then means your oven is preheated!

Step 3: Assembling Chelo Kabob

  1. Once you have finished making your chelo persian set aside while you start working on your kabob koobideh recipe.

  2. Fill plates with white saffron-infused Iranian chelow topped with freshly steamed kabab koobideh persian style prepared earlier.

  3. Garnish with some sprigs of marjoram or *pars

Substitutions and Variations

 My mouth is watering just looking at these Iranian Chelo Kabobs
My mouth is watering just looking at these Iranian Chelo Kabobs

When it comes to making Iranian Chelo Kabob, there are a few different variations and substitutions that can be made based on your preferences and available ingredients. While the traditional recipe calls for a mixture of ground lamb and beef, you can also use all beef or all lamb if desired.

If you don’t have access to Persian ground meat or minced meat, you can grind meat at home. You can also use hamburger instead of ground beef or lamb in this recipe, but keep in mind that it may not have the same flavor as the traditional ingredients.

For those looking to mix up the spices, feel free to add marjoram or black pepper for an extra kick. Another variation you can try is adding grilled vegetables like peppers and onions to your kabobs for a flavorful twist.

If you’re looking for something besides the traditional saffron rice, try pairing your kabobs with a refreshing cucumber salad or roasted vegetables. And for those who want to try their hand at other Iranian dishes, consider making Kabab Barg or Chullu Kabab as well – these kabob varieties are also popular in Iran.

Whatever substitutions or variations you choose to make, be sure to taste test your dish along the way to ensure the flavors are balanced and complement each other well. Play around with ingredients until you find the perfect combination that works best for you and enjoy experimenting with this timeless national dish!

Serving and Pairing

 Festival of colors and flavors on a plate - Iranian Chelo Kabob
Festival of colors and flavors on a plate – Iranian Chelo Kabob

Once you have your Iranian Chelo Kabob beautifully grilled and ready to serve, it’s time to think about the best way to enjoy this dish. Traditionally, this dish is served with fluffy saffron rice which complements the flavors of the kabob perfectly. The aromatic and buttery saffron rice really brings out the savory flavors of the meat.

Another classic accompaniment to Chelo Kabob is grilled tomatoes, which add a deliciously smokey flavor to the dish. Some people also like to include a side of green herbs such as parsley, basil, or mint to freshen up their palate.

If you want to get more creative with your side dishes, consider serving some roasted veggies like eggplant, bell peppers or zucchini. Adding a creamy yogurt dip made with yogurt, grated cucumber and garlic is also a great addition that will complement the meat and cut through its richness.

As for drinks, a perfect pairing for Chelo Kabob is Doogh – it’s a popular Persian yogurt-based drink that will help you refresh between bites of the meaty dish. If you’re not a fan of yogurty drinks, you can always opt for a cold beer or a glass of red wine.

Overall, there are no hard-set rules when it comes to serving and pairing Chelo Kabob – just go with what feels right for your taste buds! Whatever you choose – whether it’s traditional saffron rice or something more experimental – be sure to appreciate each component and savor all the delicious flavors.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Grilled to perfection - juicy beef skewers with fluffy Persian rice
Grilled to perfection – juicy beef skewers with fluffy Persian rice

As a chef, I know that the best meals are often the ones that can be prepared in advance so that you can dish them out for your guests when they arrive. Fortunately, with Iranian Chelo Kabob, you can do just that! The kabobs can be made ahead and stored or reheated to perfection, making the recipe perfect for any occasion or event.

When it comes to storing these kabobs, you want to ensure that they remain moist and tender even after they have been reheated. To do this, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. If you want to freeze your kabobs, make sure they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and stored in a freezer-safe container. They can be stored for up to two months.

When heating up your kabobs, avoid placing them directly in the microwave as this will result in dry and tough meat. Instead, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the kabobs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place them into the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until heated through.

You can also reheat leftover Iranian Chelo Kabob on a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until heated through.

Overall, there are numerous ways you can make-ahead, store and reheat these delicious kebabs without losing their juicy goodness or mouthwatering flavors. Just follow the above tips, and you’ll have an impressive dish ready in no time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Fire up the grill for some heavenly Iranian Chelo Kabob
Fire up the grill for some heavenly Iranian Chelo Kabob

When preparing Iranian Chelo Kabob at home for the first time, it could be intimidating to get it right. But don’t worry! Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you create the perfect Chelo Kabob that will keep your family and guests coming back for more.

– To get the most flavor out of your Chelo Kabob, let the meat marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. The longer you marinate, the better the flavor will be.

– For a perfectly grilled Kabob Koobideh without breaking on the grill, use 80-85% lean ground meat. A high-fat content may result in the Kabob disintegrating on the grill, while a low-fat content can make it dry.

– When making Kabob Barg, use tender cuts like filet mignon or sirloin. Tender meats work best for this type of kabob because they are easy to cut into thin slices.

– If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.

– When forming the Kabob Koobideh onto skewers, take care not to over-handle the meat as it may end up tough and chewy.

– Use a non-stick grill pan or outdoor barbecue for an even cook and to keep your Kabobs from sticking to the surface.

– Don’t skip adding saffron to your Rice recipe. Iranian Chelo Kabob is often served with Persian Saffron Rice or Chelow. A pinch of saffron strands infused in hot water and added to rice during cooking will give it a beautiful golden color and add an earthy, fragrant touch.

By following these tips, you’ll have delicious Iranian Chelo Kabob that tastes just like being in Iran – only in your own backyard!


As we wrap up this recipe, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about it. Here are some tips and insights that will help clarify any doubts you might have about cooking the Iranian chelo kabob recipe.

What does Chelo mean in chelo kebab?

This recipe features a classic Iranian meal of flavorful kababs served alongside buttery saffron rice, roasted tomatoes, and a perfectly cooked egg. The combination of tender chicken and lamb make this dish a satisfying and hearty meal.

What is chelo kebab in Farsi?

Chelow kabab is a popular dish from Iran that includes steamed rice and a type of kebab. It is regarded as the country’s national dish and has been around since the Qajar dynasty.

Which Iranian meat kebab is usually served in Chelow Kebab?

When it comes to authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, Kubideh is undoubtedly a classic dish that meat-lovers cannot resist. The secret to the perfect Kubideh lies in the combination of ground beef or lamb, skillfully infused with chopped onions, and molded using skewers. To ensure the meat doesn’t slide off the skewers during grilling, it is crucial to achieve the ideal consistency of fat, meat, and onions. A typical serving of Kubideh usually consists of two skewers, making it an ideal choice for meat enthusiasts looking for a filling and delicious meal.

Why is it called chelo kebab?

The Chelow Kebab has become a popular addition to Indian cuisine. This type of kebab is made with rice and is also known as “polow” in Farsi, meaning cooked rice. It’s a name that has stuck due to the inclusion of rice in the recipe.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Iranian Chelo Kabob recipe is a must-try for any meat lover looking to indulge in a flavor-packed, mouth-watering culinary experience. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients or the complex-sounding preparation steps. With this recipe guide, you’ll be able to create a dish that will leave your guests raving and begging for more.

Whether you choose to make the kabab koobideh, kabob barg, or chelo kababs, mixing meat with grated onion and spices will always yield an incredibly flavorful result. And when you pair your kabobs with fluffy saffron rice and some grilled vegetables, you’re in for an incredibly satisfying meal.

So why not venture out of your comfort zone and try making this national dish of Iran? I guarantee that once you’ve tasted this masterpiece, it will become a regular feature in your meals. Plus, it’s perfect for hosting outdoor dinner parties or indoor cozy gatherings with friends or family.

Now, all that’s left to do is get cooking! Follow the recipe guide closely and don’t forget to add your own personal touch. I hope you enjoy this irani kebab recipe as much as I do. Happy cooking!

Iranian Chelo Kabob

Iranian Chelo Kabob Recipe

This was one of my favorite dishes when we were stationed in Iran. My children still request this often. It's simple & very tasty. Ground lamb is hard to get where I live so I use hamburger.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iranian
Calories 376.1 kcal


  • 1 lb ground lamb or 1 lb hamburger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • salt & pepper


  • Mix all well.
  • Shape like very fat hotdogs& place.
  • in shallow baking pan.
  • Broil 2 minutes& turn over- broil 2 more minutes.
  • Serve with cooked rice.
  • (in Iran this is served with fresh herbs& fresh green onions in a salad called Sabzehordan).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 119gCalories: 376.1kcalCarbohydrates: 4.9gProtein: 22.4gFat: 29.1gSaturated Fat: 12.3gCholesterol: 188.5mgSodium: 103.5mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Broil, Meat, Middle Eastern, Oven, Very Low Carbs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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