|Total Time||4 hours|
An Iranian-American friend — who learned the technique from his dad — taught me how to make this perennial Persian favorite. Grill the kebabs on a hot summer evening, then wrap them with the herbs in warm lavash bread. A dollop of tangy yogurt sauce brings it all together. Sprinkling the spices on top at the end is optional.
|1||tsp. saffron threads|
|1||Tbsp. boiling water|
|2||tsp. freshly ground black pepper|
|1||lb. ground lamb or beef (koobideh) (see Note)|
|1||lb. lamb or beef kebab chunks (barg)|
|½||tsp. baking soda|
|1||large cucumber or 2 to 3 small Persian cucumbers|
|1½||cups plain yogurt|
|1||Tbsp. dried mint or 8 leaves fresh mint, minced|
|½||tsp. freshly ground black pepper|
|¼||cup diced onion|
|2||bunches fresh radishes|
|1||small bunch each of fresh parsley, mint, basil, and cilantro|
|1||doz. pita, lavash, or naan, for wrapping the kebabs (see Note)|
|~||Sumac or za’atar spice blend for sprinkling over the finished sandwiches (optional; see Note)|
|~||Crumbled feta, for serving (optional)|
Don’t buy very lean ground meat for the koobideh; if you do, the kebabs will be dry and crumbly. Try to get at least 20 percent fat in the meat.
Za’atar is a traditional Middle Eastern spice blend of ground sumac berries, sesame seeds, salt, and dried thyme. You can buy it premixed or make your own.
Lavash bread and Persian cucumbers are available at Middle Eastern groceries and at Trader Joe’s.
You can also serve the kebabs with basmati rice instead of bread.
This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.
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