About Joojeh Kabob (Persian Style Chicken Kebob)
Although, Iranians don’t have a tendency to make joojeh kabob very often for their daily meals, for the rest of the world, kabobs are known as the premier Persian cuisine, and people like to go to Persian restaurants for their delectable chicken and meat kebobs paired with grilled vegetables over beautiful jewel rice.
As for us Iranians, our go to meals for every day are khoresh (stews), Āsh (thick soups), khorak (braises), and polo (assorted rices). Even though back home (Iran), kabobs were prepared all year round, now days, traditionally made kabobs are mostly done for special occasions or family gatherings.
An authentic kabob is expected to be done over a manghal (portable wood-charcoal grill) which allows the metal skewers to be laid directly over an open fire. However, these days, kabobs are mostly prepared on gas grills. Some families including my parents, have replicated the open fire concept on a gas grill. Basically, they use regular outdoor gas grills, but they take off the cast iron parts to lay the metal skewers on a direct flame.
In the pictures below, I'd like to take the opportunity to show the different vegetables that can be grilled and served with kabobs. Usually, tomatoes are must-haves, but grilling onions, green bell peppers or green hot peppers are very common too. On the left, we have joojeh kabob being done over an authentic manghal, and on the right, kabobs and vegetables are being grilled over a transformed gas grill, all courtesy of my lovely mom and dad!
More over, it is the tradition to place the cooked kabobs and vegetables between layers of fresh lavash bread over a platter and bring them to the table that is already set with complementary spreads. Usaully the other things that go well with kabobs are seasoned yogurt, pickle, and freshly assembled herbs like basil, mint, arugula, scallions, and radishes. Last but not least, in hot summer days, ice-cold doogh (yogurt drink) is served to complete the manifestation.
Sadly enough, a lot of times, I can't do any of the above preparations. It is so much work for me, and I just grill my kabobs on a stove top grill or on the top of a regular barbecue grill. I also make sure to grill tomatoes and onions to keep that great flavors happening. At this point, I rather have non-traditional joojeh kabobs ever so often, than waiting months to have a real one, and I’m kind of a sure my Iranian peeps every where feel the same way.
5 lb. of boneless and skinless chicken breast, rinsed and pat dried
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp Aleppo pepper
1/2 tbsp lemon and pepper seasoning salt (recommended: McCormik)1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powered, (recommended: Sadaf)
1/2 tsp powdered saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp butter, melted in the microwave for 15 seconds
Cut chicken breast into large bite-size pieces. Place the cut pieces and sliced onions in a mixing bowl and lightly toss them together.
Make the marinade. In a small mixing bowl, combine the kosher salt, Aleppo pepper, black pepper, dissolved saffron, lemon juice, and the olive oil, stirring well with a whisk.
Pour the marinade over chicken and onions. Mix well until all the chicken and onion pieces are fully coated with the marinade.
Trim the ends of the wooden skewers to fit inside your stove top grill and soak them in water for 10 minutes.
Next, remove the chicken pieces from marinade, and skewer them. Brush both sides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the skewered chi on the preheated stove top grill. Grill them on medium-high for about 4 minutes per side or until tender. Serve with grilled tomatoes and onions over lavash bread or steamed basmati rice.
About Loobia Chiti
If you’ve never had pinto beans prepared in a Persian style before, I don’t blame you for underestimating and looking down at pinto beans. This particular dish in Persian is called “Loobia Chiti” as “Loobia" meaning bean, and “chiti" is the Persian name for Pinto. In Iran, Loobia Chiti is considered a vegetarian meal, side dish, appetizer, or even a salad when served cold.
This dish is one of the most unpretentious and yet a desired one throughout the country(Iran), and I would assume it is the best selling can food to this day. Everyone I grew up with loved this dish, as much as they made fun of it! Yes, every body made fun of it, because it gives the body gas and bloating! but the taste is so worth it.
Speaking of which, I strongly recommend soaking overnight or even better, soaking for 24 hours. When the beans are soaked long enough, couple of good things happen. One, they cook faster. Two, their texture after cooking is really soft inside-out; not soaking long enough will results in beans that are too soft outside and stiffy inside. Third, soaking does help reduce bloating but not drastically, I guess we just have to accept to appreciate beans for what they are.
1 lb pinto beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight or up to 24 hours
1 large carrot, chopped to 3 pieces
6 cloves garlic
2-3 pieces bay leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar or raw cane sugar
Drain the soaked beans and place in a large pot. Fill the pot with 6 to 7 cups of water. Add the quartered onions, carrots, garlics, and bay leaves. Bring the water to boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with lid and cook until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring it occasionally. Midway through its cooking (after 30 minutes), add kosher salt to season, but do not over season.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, and add the diced onions. Season with salt and black pepper, and sauté until lightly golden about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, stirring everything together and sauté for 2-3 more minutes to cook the raw tomato taste. Set aside.
When the beans are tender, add the onion mixture, vinegar, and sugar. Stir every thing together and with no lid, let it simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the texture of the dish thickens, taste for additional seasoning. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or fresh bread.
About Grilled Pork
In the world of grill and barbecue, for me, it’s all about pork. When I crave those sticky ribs slapped with nice tangy-spicy sauce, there is nothing else I can really think of, but to get my hands on one. Indeed, pork has the best flavor when barbecued.
While barbecuing pork at home is not an easy option for a lot of households, a good grilled pork will get you close. It is so easy to prepare a super moist and delicious grilled pork, and it is very easy to dry them by mistake.
There are some important factors worth taking into account when grilling pork.
3 lb. thick-cut pork loin, trimmed, cubed 2”x2” or a little bigger
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, smacked and chopped
1 tbsp lemon & pepper seasoning salt (recommended: McCormick )
1 tbsp Aleppo pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup low sodiums soy sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
First, make the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, Aleppo pepper, salt, sriracha hot souse, turmeric, black pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, and olive oil, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl or on top of your chopping board, mix the cubed pork pieces with the sliced onions. Make sure onions are well distributed. Transfer the pork and onion mix into a zip top bag and pour the marinade over it. Get the extra air out and close the bag. Gently, shake the bag until all pork pieces are coated with marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator, and marinate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight, shaking the bag often.
Remove the pork pieces from the marinade and allow them to come about room temperature.
Preheat the stove top grill on high. Brush the pork pieces with some cooking oil and season them with a little salt and black pepper. Place them on the hot stove top grill and after one minute, turn down the heat to medium. Let them cook about 6 to 8 minutes. Raise the heat to high again, and flip the pork pieces over and after one minute turn down the heat to medium and allow the pork cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked pork pieces to a serving platter, covering with foil and Let them rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot with a side of steamed basmati rice.
3 cups of finely chopped spinach
1 cup of finely chopped dandelion
2 medium tomatoes, small diced
2 persian cucumbers, unpeeled, small diced
1 large carrot, peeled, small grated
For the lemon dressing
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the mayonnaise dressing
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For the lemon dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, salt and pepper, Aleppo pepper, olive oil in a small bowl.
For the mayonnaise dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt in a small bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine all the chopped vegetables. Add the lemon dressing and toss every thing together until coated well with the dressing. transfer the salad mix on to a flat serving platter. Next, with a spoon, pour the mayonnaise dressing over the salad, making horizontal patterns. Serve cold.
Hello & welcome to Tumbling Pots
I'm Sarineh Khachatourian, the creator, writer, and photographer of my food blog. This is where I write about my cooking obsessions and share only the best with you. More...