Chelo Kabab Koobideh

Servings : Serves 2-3

The most popular and most famous of Iran’s Persian dishes, and my darling hubby’s absolute favourite meal. Beautiful, aromatic saffron-scented basmati rice (chelo) served with a pat of butter on top, some salad and a grilled tomato, deliciously moist and flavourful grilled koobideh kebabs, with some soft baked naan. The perfect combination of flavours and aromas.

Ingredients for Rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp. yoghurt (make sure it's not sour)
  • 1 tsp. crushed saffron soaked in 1 tbsp. water
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • sumac (optional)
  • some cubes of butter, chilled


Click here for Kebab recipe

Click here for Naan recipe

Rinse, drain and soak the rice for about 30 minutes.

In a big pot, bring water to a boil, then add salt to it. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Boil until the rice is almost cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Drain the water from the rice and then pour the rice back into the pot. Add the yoghurt and oil and mix gently. At the top of the rice, add the saffron water to one section of the rice and mix it in lightly. Cover the pot and let it steam on very low heat or in the oven at 180 C for about 15-20 minutes. If you want to form the nice yummy rice-crust on the base of the pot (called Tadig in Persian), then increase the heat slightly to about medium low during the last 10 minutes of steaming.

Open the pot, remove the section with the colored/saffron rice and set it aside. Fluff up the rest of the rice gently. Serve the white rice on a platter, then add the colored rice on top and a pat of the chilled butter, plus the kebabs, grilled tomato and naan. Sprinkle sumac powder if you are using it.

Enjoy! 🙂

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