Kabob Kubideh or Grilled Ground Beef on Skewers with Middle Eastern Spices
Kabob Kubideh (or Grilled Ground Beef on Skewers with Middle Eastern Spices) is delicious and easy to make! And this tasty recipe for the grill is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, Paleo or Whole 30, and South Beach Diet Phase One. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
One of my favorite restaurants in Salt Lake is The Med, a very inexpensive place that features foods from all the Mediterranean countries. On the section of the menu designated Persian Food they have a dish called Kabob-e Kubideh that I love to order.
It’s made of very finely ground beef mixed with onions and spices, including turmeric, and then grilled. The meat is probably ground twice to produce a dense texture similar to Gyro meat. At Cafe Med it’s served with Tzatziki sauce, the perfect companion to the slightly-spicy flavor of the meat. I love this dish and I’m glad I persevered to come up with a good version you can make at home!
(This recipe for Kabob Kubideh or Grilled Ground Beef on Skewers with Middle Eastern Spices was first posted in 2005 and updated with better photos in 2009, so you can tell how long I’ve been loving this recipe.)
When I first started my blog in 2005, I did some experimenting to try to reproduce this dish at home. I searched on the internet for Kubideh (also spelled Koobideh) and found several recipes. I tried one, and the result was nothing like the dish at Cafe Med. Then I visited a Middle Eastern grocery store in Salt Lake (now gone) where the owner recommended Sadaf Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning. You can probably find it at your favorite Middle Eastern Store (or follow the link above to buy at Amazon.com) but if you don’t want to buy the spices, there are some other suggestions in the recipe. (And in case anyone is wondering, this company hasn’t paid me to promote their product and they have no idea I am mentioning it here!)
Now I would probably cook this on blade-type skewers (like these skewers that I got in Turkey), but I originally made Kubideh with these wonderful double skewers that I bought in California at a lovely little shop calledPlaza Gourmet, a place I visited on a foodie outing with my step-sister Bobbi.
Next time I might add onions, but I followed the recipe I had scribbled in my notebook back in 2005 and ground together 1 lb. hamburger, 2 T Sadaf Ground Kabob Seasoning, and 1/4 cup water in the food processor. This double grinding of the meat is traditional in Middle Eastern cooking, and keeps the meat on the skewers. Then the meat needs to be refrigerated for several hours so the flavors can develop. You could even grind the seasoning with the meat in the morning before work, and cook the kabobs when you get home.
When it’s time to cook, divide the meat into four pieces, then form each into a long cylinder and push a skewer into it. You want to make them uniformly thick so they’ll cook evenly. Cook the skewered kabobs on a pre-heated grill at medium high heat. Of course I had to rotate them and try for grill marks, but that’s not essential. When the first side is well-browned, turn the kabobs carefully, for a total cooking time of about 15-18 minutes. I used an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be at least 160F for ground beef.
Kabob Kubideh (Grilled Ground Beef Skewers with Middle Eastern Spices)
(Makes 4 Kubideh kabobs, grilled ground meat skewers like this are also sometimes called Kofta of Kefta.)
1 lb. ground beef (I used ground beef with only 10% fat)
1/2 onion, very finely chopped (optional)
2 TSadaf Ground Meat Kabob Seasoning(See suggestions below and other ideas after the recipe if you don’t have this seasoning.)
1/4 cup water
olive oil, for oiling the grill
(If you don’t have Sadaf Ground Kabob Seasoning, the package lists the ingredients as onions, salt, pepper, sumac, parsley, turmeric, and other spices. Most recipes for Kubideh that I found online season the meat with turmeric, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Some recipes add parsley, lemon juice, or bread crumbs to the mixture. See after the recipe for variations of Kubideh from other food bloggers as well as a recipe from a reader named Donna who is married to a man from Iran.)
Put ground beef in food processor fitted with steel blade. Add 2 T Sadaf Kabob Seasoning mixed with 1/4 cup water. Process until finely ground. Put meat into a plastic container with a snap-on lid and refrigerate two hours or as long as all day.
Oil grill grates with a paper towel dipped in olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.) Form meat into cylinder shaped patties. Put meat on skewers, or you can cook them right on the grill without a skewer. (I had double skewers, which worked well, although Kubideh is cooked on blade type skewers in the Middle East.)
If you’d like criss-cross grill marks, cook kabobs about 4 minutes on first side, then rotate and cook 3-4 minutes more. Carefully turn kabobs and cook the second side, for a total cooking time of about 15-18 minutes. If you have an instant-read meat thermometer, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F.
Serve Kubideh hot, with Tzatziki sauce if desired.
More Kubideh from Other Blogs:
A Reader Shares Her Recipe for Kubideh:
After I posted this recipe I heard from a reader named Donna who’s married to a man from Iran. She shared her version of this dish, which I have to say, sounds like it would taste wonderful. (Thanks Donna!)
1 lb lean (90% or better) ground beef or lamb
1 tsp salt (more if you like)
1 med onion quartered
1 lemon juiced
Put the lemon juice and onion in a food processor or blender. Puree. Add to meat and mix well. Form into patties and grill on skewers or straight on the bbq pit. Also you can bake these on a broiler pan in the oven and have a very nice substitute for the grilled ones.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Suggestions:
Made with lean ground beef, this Kabob Kubideh is a great main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or most other low-carb eating plans, including Paleo if you skip the yogurt sauce.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can alsoFollow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterestto see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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