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Persian Dinner for Four

Persian Cooking - Best of Persian Cuisine

Kababs are easy and convenient to cook. In Iran and east of Iran meat is marinated in herbs, onion, garlic, and vinegar or lime juice or yogurt for 4 to 24 hours so the meat tenderizes and is well seasoned. Then, the meat is threaded onto skewers (a small piece of lamb tailfat can be placed between every two pieces of meat) and cooked over glowing charcoals for a subtly perfumed, flame-rich flavor. Iranians use a long, flat metal (preferably stainless steel) skewers. Different widths are used for different types of kababs. Thin, 1/8 inch-wide skewers are used when the meat is in cubes. Medium width, 3/8 inch-wide skewers are used for strips of meat and chicken. Large, 1 inch-wide skewers are used for ground meat kababs. The meat is brushed with the marinade mixture and ghee occasionally and turned frequently. The kabab is cooked just long enough to be seared on the outside, pink and juicy within. The following is a listing of the most popular kabab dishes:

Lamb Kabab - Chenjeh kabab
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 4 hours' marinating
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 pound lean tenderloin lamb, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 large onion, peeled and grated
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
4 large tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 pound lamb tailfat

Baste
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 12-ounce package of lavash bread
6 flat, J inch-wide swordlike skewers


1. Have your butcher remove back bones from the lamb loins, then the fillets from the loins, and then trim all fat and gristle from the main muscles.
2. Cut meat into 2-inch cubes, pound each piece lightly with a heavy-bladed knife to make shallow incisions along the meat. Cut tailfat into 1-inch cubes. Place meat and tailfat in a large bowl.
3. Add onion, salt, pepper and lime juice. Mix well. Cover the meat and marinate for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.
4. Start a bed of charcoal 30 minutes before you want to cook and let it burn until the coals glow. (You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.)
5. During this time, thread 5 or 6 pieces of meat onto each skewer and thread 1 piece of tailfat between every two pieces of meat, leaving a few inches free on both ends. Spear tomatoes onto separate skewers.
6. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add the lime juice, saffron water,and salt and pepper to your taste. Keep warm. Baste the meat and tomatoes with this mixture.
7. When the coals are glowing, first place tomatoes on grill; after 1 minute, place the skewered meat on the grill. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, turning frequently, basting occasionally. The meat should be seared on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside.
8. Spread lavash bread on a serving platter. When the meat is cooked, place the skewers of meat on the bread and brush them with the baste. Garnish with grilled tomatoes. Try a piece to taste (cook's privilege). Cover with lavash bread to keep warm.
9. Serve immediately with chelow, lavash bread, or Persian pickles (torshi) and a dish of fresh herbs, especially scallions and basil. Remove the meat from each skewer by taking a piece of lavash bread, placing it over several pieces of meat, and using it to slide the meat off the skewer. Nush-e Jan!

Variation: Lamb Rib Chops Kabab (Shish lik) may be substituted for tenderloin.

Credits: The above recipe is from New Food of Life: Ancient Persian & Modern Iranian Cooking & Ceremonies or Silk Road Cooking: a Vegetarian Journey, copyright Najmieh Batmanglij 1986-2004. Courtesy of Mage Publishers, 1032 29th St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.

Fillet Kabab- Kabab-e barg
Lamb-piece Kabab - Chenjeh kabab
Ground Meat Kabab-Kabab-e kubideh
Shish Kabab - Shish kabab
Pan Kabab - Kabab digy
Lamb Fries Kabab - Kabab-e donbalan
Chicken Kabab - Jujeh kabab
Rice and Meat Kabab - Chelow kabab
Lamb Rib Chops Kabab - Shishlik
Liver, Heart, and Kidney Kabab - Kabab-e Jigar-o del-o gholveh

 
Persian Grocery
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Chickpea Cookies - Noon Nokhodchi Cripy Almond Cookie - Hajibadoom Crispy Walnut Cookie - Bajigerdoo Rice Cookie- Noon Brenji Mixed Persian Cookies (traditional) Marzipan -Toot Flax Seed Brittle - Sohan Asali Honey Almond Brittle Sohan Asali with slivered almonds Honey Sesame Brittle - Sohan Asali Peanut Brittle - Sohan Asali Peanut Noga Pistachio Nugget - Gaz Walnut Nugget - Baslough Saffron Rock Candy - Nabat Saffron Rock Candy Pieces Paitakht Sugar Coated Almonds - Noghle Almond Candy - Badoom Sokhteh Baklava - Persian Baglava Rolled Cookies - Kak Kermanshahi Zolbia and Bahieh .
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Garlic Cloves (Fresh) - ships Tues only Fresh Mint Leaves - ships out only on Tuesday Pistachio - Raw Cashew Pieces Almonds Raisins 100% Pure Asafoetida (Hing) Crystals - non-organic 0.5oz Kasturi Methi or Fenugreek Leaves (Shambalileh). Fried Onions Cardamom Pods Green Whole Poppy Seed or Khas Khas Cinnamon (Malabar Cinnamon) Black Cardamom Black Pepper (Whole) Sesame Seeds White Cardamom Seeds Tamarind Paste - Tamarindo, Tamar Hind Orange Blossom Water - Flavor Desserts, Syrups, Rice, Salads, on Fruit and in Beverages Advieh Polo Rice Advieh (Baharat) Seven Spice Baharat Shish Kabob Seasoning Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning Yoghurt Dip Seasoning Chicken Kabob Seasoning Mediterranean Seasoning Lemon Pepper Seasoning Zereshk Berries (Dried Barberries for Persian Rice) Rose Bud Gol Mohamadi Eucalyptus Leaves Mosir (Dried Shallot) Mosir Powder - Shalot Orange Peel - used in rice dishes and pan sauteed meats Senjed Lemon Omani Whole Sabzi Gormeh Sabzi Polo Sabzi KooKoo Sabzi Aash Sabzi Dolmeh Pistachios Tahini Jar Pomergranate Concentrate 100% Pomergranate Paste Dried White Mulberry Jumbo (tout) Dried Fig - Shirazi Anjeer Dried Apricot Raisin Currant Raisin Soultany .
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Channa Dal - Lentils Masoor Dal (Lentil) Masoor Dal Whole Kabuli Chana (Garbanzos) Rajma - Kidney Beans Besan or Chick Pea Lentil Flour Basmati Rice - world's finest rice Basmati Brown Rice - world's finest rice Aash-e-Reshteh / Noodle Vegi Persian Soup Aash-e-Joe - Persian Barley and Beans Soup Mix Reshteh (Noodles for Ash) Reshteh Polo (Roasted Noodle) Barley (Joo) Black Beans Black Eye Peas, Lobia, Blackeye Beans, Field Peas, Lobiya, Chawli Lima Beans Great Northern Beans Green lentils (Adas) Soup Mix Yellow Fava (Baghala) Brown Fava Beans Couscous Original Couscous Toasted Foul Modammas (canned) Large Fava Beans (canned) Tahini Jar .
    Torshi, Pickles, Preserves, Purees
Torshi Litteh Torshi Eggplant Torshi Mix Pepper Chk Torshi Mixed Hot Creamy Torshi Little Torshi Haft - Bijar Torshi Onion Red Viniger Torshi Garlic Quince Preserve Orange Blossom Jam Carrot Preserve Fig Preserve .
    Tea, Sherbets, Dried Fruits, Berries
Zereshk Berries (Dried Barberries for Persian Rice) Khak Shir Iran - Mugwort Seeds Esphand Quince Seeds Sonbol Tib Rose Bud Gol Mohamadi Eucalyptus Leaves Hibiscus/Sour Tea Orange Peel - used in rice dishes and pan sauteed meats Senjed Rose (Gole Sorkh) Jam Pomergranate Concentrate 100% Pomergranate Paste Pomergranate Juice Premium Sour Grape Juice Lime Juice (Shiraz) Natural Lemon Juice Orange Water Imported Persian Blend Tea Earl Grey Persian Blend Tea w Cardamom Persian Blend Tea Earl Grey 50 T/B Persian Blend Tea w Cardamom 50 T/B Persian Blend Tes Earl Grey 20T/B Persian Blend Tea w Cardamom 20 T/B Dried White Mulberry Jumbo (tout) Dried Fig - Shirazi Anjeer Dried Apricot Raisin Currant Raisin Soultany Chickpea Cookies - Noon Nokhodchi .

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