Koobideh Kebabs

Fire up the grill and create these delightful kebabs!

Photo by Denys Gromov on Pexels.com

Kebab Koobideh is a grilled kebab dish that originates from Iran. It is made with ground beef or lamb and is often mixed with onions. The name Koobideh comes from the word Koobidan, which means “slamming” in Persian. This refers to the style of how the meat was traditionally prepared. The meat was placed a black flat stone and smashed with a wooden mallet.

My first time trying koobideh was during university. It was due to a friend I had met in cooking club. She and her husband were major foodies. Every time I saw her she kept talking about this kebab shop that was not too far from campus, and she was enamored with the kebabs and the bread. She made it sound so appetizing that I went with some roommates one day. The atmosphere was casual and I loved how we could see them grill the kebabs and bake the bread. I ordered the koobideh. I wrapped it in bread and dipped it in tzatziki. It was charred and delectable. The kebab shop became my go-to place and I craved it often. I wanted to recreate the delicious flavors of koobideh at home and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Koobideh Kebabs Recipe

Yields 2 servings

Prep Time 15 minutes

Inactive Time 60 minutes

Cook Time 8 minutes

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Pale Ale or Amber Ale

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Cabernet


1/2 pound ground beef

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 white or yellow onion

1 egg

To serve: Barbari bread, Persian rice, tzatziki, charred peppers, charred tomatoes


Grate the onion using a food processor or box grater. Squeeze out the moisture of the onions with a sieve, cheese cloth, or paper towel.

In a large bowl, mix together the onions with the rest of the ingredients. Mixing the ingredients with your hands is the best way to do this.

Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal balls.

Wet your hands to work with the meat. Shape each ball into a cylinder shape. Slide a skewer through each cylinder.

Create indentations in the meat with your finger.

Let kebabs set in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Fire up a charcoal grill or gas grill to medium heat. Grill the koobideh for about 4 minutes on each side.

Serve warm with Barbari bread, Persian rice, tzatziki, charred peppers, charred tomatoes.

Koobideh also tastes great in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, tzatziki or hummus.

Variation: Combine 1/4 lb of ground lamb with 1/4 lb of ground beef for a different flavor profile.

If you do not have a food processor or box grater you can use a blender to grate the onions. If you have neither then add the chopped onions to the kebabs as is, the texture will be different.

If you are without a grill broil the kebabs in your oven for 8 minutes.


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


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