Joojeh Kabab (Persian Grilled Saffron Chicken)

Servings : Serves 4

Joojeh (or Jujeh) Kabab is a moist, tender and delicious Persian grilled chicken dish. Saffron is in most cases the star ingredient in preparing this dish, and it adds both a depth of flavour and a lovely colour to the chicken. Jojeh kabab is normally served with saffron rice (chelo) or with naan/lavash bread.

Ingredients for Joojeh

  • 1 kg boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. saffron (crushed then soaked in 2 tbsp. hot water)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder (optional)

Ingredients for Basting

  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of saffron, crushed and soaked in 1 tbsp. hot water


Wash and drain the chicken cubes and set aside in a bowl.

In a blender, add all the other Joojeh ingredients. Blend to a smooth consistency. Pour this marinade over the chicken cubes and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least for serveral hours).

Joojeh kabab is normally not spicy. We love our food a bit spicy, so I tend to add either chilli powder or 1 whole red chilli when blending the marinade.

In a small bowl, put all the basting ingredients and whisk them with a fork to combine. This mixture will be used for brushing the chicken as it cooks over the hot grill.

Thread the chicken onto metal skewers and grill over a hot charcoal grill for about 8-15 minutes, turning them regularly and brushing them occasionally with the basting mixture. Do not over cook the chicken as this will toughen it. Joojeh Kabab can also be prepared in the oven. Simply pre-heat the oven grill to a high temperature, and place just under the grill, again basting occasionally and turning the skewers until cooked through.

Serve with naan, recipe HERE or over saffron rice (chelo), recipe HERE.

Enjoy!  🙂

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