Indulge your taste buds with a tantalizing and exotic twist on classic kebabs with this Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe. Bursting with Middle Eastern flavors, these kofta kebabs are perfect for summer grilling season or as a hearty winter meal. The tender, juicy turkey is infused with aromatic spices like saffron threads, turmeric, cumin, and coriander to create a flavor explosion that will leave you wanting more.
This recipe is an excellent choice for anyone looking to switch up their protein intake from the usual beef or chicken choices. The combination of tender lean ground turkey mixed with fresh herbs and spices creates a mouth-watering flavor profile that complements rice pilaf, grilled vegetables, or pita sandwiches perfectly.
Join me in discovering the rich cultural traditions of the Middle East by trying out this simple but elegant Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe. Let’s dive into the flavors of the region and enjoy an outstanding culinary experience.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe for Persian Turkey Kebabs is an absolute must-try for all Middle Eastern cuisine lovers or those who are simply looking for a new type of kebab to spice up their grilling game.
What truly sets this dish apart, first and foremost, is the combination of flavors. With its blend of aromatic saffron threads, earthy cumin and turmeric, and a slight zest from the cayenne pepper, you’ll experience a mouthwatering depth of taste like no other. The touch of dried coriander and dill also bring out the natural flavors of the lean ground turkey, resulting in a deliciously satisfying meal that’s both healthy and tasty.
But that’s not all! The kebabs themselves are quick and easy to grill, making it a perfect choice for busy weekday dinners. In fact, you can whip up enough kofta kebabs to feed a crowd in under 30 minutes. Plus, the versatility of the recipe allows for you to easily substitute or vary ingredients as you see fit.
Looking for even more reasons to try this recipe? Well, these turkey kofta kebabs are low in calories but high in protein, which makes them an ideal option if you are watching your weight or looking to build muscle. They’re also great for serving in pita sandwiches or alongside some fluffy rice pilaf.
So why not add this delicious Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe to your cooking repertoire today? You won’t regret it!
Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for making Persian Turkey Kebabs:
- 2 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. dried coriander
- 1 tbsp. dried dill
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs or flour (optional)
- Saffron thread (optional)
For Serving and Garnishing:
- Fresh parsley, chopped
These ingredients are readily available in grocery stores and supermarkets. Make sure to check your pantry for these herbs and spices before heading to the store.
The Recipe How-To
Preparing the turkey kofta kebabs is a straightforward and fun process. Here’s how it goes:
Step 1 — Soak the Saffron
- Crush a pinch of saffron threads in a small bowl.
- Dissolve the crushed saffron in 2 tbsp hot water.
- Let it sit for approximately 30 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
Step 2 — Combine the Ingredients
- In a large mixing bowl, combine lean ground turkey, dried coriander, dried dill, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the soaked saffron and the onion and egg mixture into the bowl.
- Gently mix all of the ingredients until evenly combined.
Step 3 — Chill the Kofta Mix
- Cover the mixture with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
- This chill time helps to firm up the mixture, making it easier to form into shapes without crumbling.
Step 4 — Forming Turkey Kofta Skewers
- Using wet hands (this prevents sticking), take about 1/4 cup of the mixture and form it around a skewer in a sausage shape.
- Repeat until all of your meat mixture has been shaped around skewers.
Step 5 — Cook The Kofta
- Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Place each skewer on the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, turning frequently until cooked through.
Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and serve hot with pita bread or rice!
Enjoy your homemade delicious Persian turkey kofta kebabs!
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to make some substitutions or try variations of this Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe, I’ve got some ideas for you to play around with.
Firstly, instead of using lean ground turkey, you can opt for a mix of ground beef and lamb or even chicken to make it more interesting. In fact, chicken kababs are also a popular option in the Middle Eastern world. Another option is to switch up the spices used: cayenne pepper and turmeric give this recipe its signature flavor, but you can experiment with other spices such as curry powder or garam masala to make it more unique.
Secondly, while this recipe calls for sea salt, feel free to use Himalayan pink salt or kosher salt instead. Saffron threads are used for an earthy flavor and luxury touch, but if they’re difficult to source in your area or you’re looking for a more affordable ingredient swap, you can use smoked paprika instead.
Thirdly, if the freshness of parsley and dill aren’t your preference or they’re unavailable in your area, cilantro or mint can be used as a substitute. Additionally, breadcrumbs serve as the binding agent in the kofta mixture; however, chickpea flour is also a great substitute should you have any dietary restrictions.
Finally, for serving options instead of grilling up kofta kebabs on skewers, try rolling them into meatballs to include in homemade pita sandwiches. Or for those who want to indulge in carbs after burning most of them grilling kebabs all night long, adding it to Mediterranean inspired salads makes an excellent light meal option!
These are just some suggestions – the kebabs are versatile enough that it’s worth trying out different ingredients and preparations at least once!
Serving and Pairing
These Persian Turkey Kebabs are deliciously versatile, allowing for a wide range of side dishes and sauces to choose from. I love to serve them on a bed of fluffy couscous or basmati rice paired with some fresh herbs and roasted veggies. These kebabs are also perfect for pita sandwiches or as a filling for wraps.
Traditionally, Persian Kofta Kebabs are served with a tangy yogurt sauce, and this recipe is no exception. Simply mix some Greek yogurt with lemon juice, salt, and a handful of chopped fresh herbs like mint or parsley to make the perfect accompaniment.
For wine lovers, I recommend pairing this dish with a light red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. If you prefer white wine, an aromatic Riesling or Gewürztraminer will complement the flavors of the kebabs nicely.
Alternatively, these kebabs can be enjoyed with your favorite Middle Eastern sides like hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, or fattoush salad for a full flavor experience.
No matter how you choose to serve them, these Persian Turkey Kebabs are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering or family dinner!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
These Persian Turkey Kebabs can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated without compromising their flavor or texture. For those who don’t have the luxury of time during weekdays, making the kebabs ahead can save you precious minutes on busy evenings.
To make ahead of time, just follow the recipe instructions until right before grilling or cooking the kebabs. Instead of cooking them, arrange the kebabs on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the kebabs from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. If you’re grilling, preheat your grill to medium heat and cook the kebabs until they’re done according to your preference.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container before placing them in the refrigerator. These kebabs can last up to three days in the refrigerator. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and heat them in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
Overall, these make-ahead options keep cooking hassle-free while still allowing you to enjoy the authentic flavors of these Middle Eastern-inspired kebabs.
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure that your Persian Turkey Kebabs turn out perfectly every time, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are my top recommendations:
1. Make sure to season the meat mixture generously with salt and spices such as saffron thread, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cumin. This will add depth of flavor and bring out the best in the lean ground turkey.
2. For the best results, use lean ground turkey with at least 93% lean. This will ensure that the meat mixture is not too greasy when cooked on the grill or broiled in the oven.
3. To prevent the kebabs from sticking to the grill or oven rack, lightly grease these with cooking spray before cooking.
4. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use. This will prevent them from catching fire on the grill.
5. If you’re grilling or broiling the kebabs, make sure to preheat your grill or oven before cooking. This will allow for even cooking and prevent the meat from drying out.
6. Don’t overwork the meat mixture when shaping it into kebab shapes as this can result in tough and dry kebabs. Instead, gently shape them into small cylinders or oval shapes.
7. To check if your kebab mixture has enough seasoning, fry up a small piece of it in a pan and taste it before shaping into kebabs.
8. Finally, finish off your kebabs with a sprinkling of fresh parsley for an extra pop of freshness and color.
Now that you have learned how to prepare a delicious and authentic Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe, it is time to address some of the most common questions people usually have about this recipe. In this section, I will answer some of these frequently asked questions and provide you with additional tips to ensure you get the perfect result every time you prepare these kebabs. So, let’s dive into the FAQ section!
What is in a Middle Eastern kabob?
Looking for a delicious and crowd-pleasing dish? Try grilled kofta, or kefta, a skewer of juicy ground beef and lamb mixed with mouth-watering Middle Eastern spices, fresh parsley, onions, and garlic. This kabobs recipe is perfect for feeding a large group and goes well with a variety of sides and salads, making it a versatile choice for any occasion. Keep reading for some great suggestions on what to serve with your grilled kofta.
What meat is used in Turkish kebab?
The traditional form of kebab that is widely popular across cultures is made by marinating either lamb or beef and cooking it on a skewer commonly known as “shish” or in Turkish, “şiş.”
In conclusion, the Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe is a delicious way to add some Middle Eastern flair to your dinner menu. With its blend of spices and juicy lean ground turkey, it’s a dish that is sure to please everyone at the table. Whether you’re looking for a low-carb meal option or just something different, this recipe is a must-try.
So why not give it a go? With our detailed instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be cooking up these flavorful kofta kebabs in no time. So fire up the grill or heat up the oven and get ready to savor the delicious taste of authentic Persian cuisine.
Remember, you can always mix it up by substituting different meats or adding your own unique twist. The possibilities are endless when it comes to kebab recipes, so feel free to experiment and make it your own!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe article and feel confident in giving it a try. Don’t forget to share any variations or modifications you make with us – we love hearing from our readers!
Now go forth and create some culinary magic with this mouth-watering Persian Turkey Kebabs recipe. Happy cooking!
Persian Turkey Kebabs Recipe
- 2 lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 tablespoon dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (I use pink salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (fresh cracked)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron thread
- 1 pinch salt
- Grate the onion and drain excess juices.
- Mix together the turkey, grated onion, egg, and remaining spices, EXCEPT the saffron threads.
- Heat a small skillet and slightly toast the saffron with pinch of salt.
- After the saffron becomes fragrant, move from heat to mortar and pestle and crush to fine powder (be careful not to burn the delicate threads).
- Add saffron to meat/spice mixture.
- Mix together until completely combined (2-3 minutes).
- Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Form the mixture around metal or wooden kabab skewers (should make 8 - 10 skewers). Wet your hands in between to keep the meat from sticking. If the skewers are too hard to work with, you can simply form the kebabs without the skewers on to a lined baking sheet. Is using 99% fat free turkey this is the best option.
- Refrigerate again if the meat mixture becomes too loose and hard to work with.
- I prefer to broil these in the oven 8 minutes per side. Check after 4 minutes on first side to determine the length of your cooking.