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Lamb Chelo Kebab


for Rice

  • 2 C White Long Grain Rice
  • Water to boil rice in
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C Salted Butter preferably European

For Kebab

  • 2 medium onions about 400gms
  • 1.5 pounds ground lamb
  • a pinch of saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Urfa chillies - optional to taste
  • Turmeric - a pinch



  1. Rinse the rice until water runs clear. Soak covered with water for about 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the salt and add the rice.
  3. Cook until rice is almost done but not soft. Drain and rinse with tap water to sop further cooking.
  4. Add a little butter into a pot, pile up the rice into a cone shape on the butter. Make some holes with the back of your spatula and add butter into these holes. Cover and cook on diffused low heat for about 30 minutes.


  1. Make a puree out of the onions and strain out the juice.
  2. Take a tsp or two of the onion juice, add the saffron into it to dissolve.
  3. Take the pulp of onions and add to the ground lamb, add the saffron , salt, pepper, urfa chillies if using and turmeric.
  4. Mix and knead with your fingers until it all sticks together and does not fall apart when you pick it up in your hand.
  5. Take a handful of this mixture and place your metal skewer on it, then start spreading the meat on the middle section of the skewer by opening and closing your fingers to stick the mixture securely to the skewer.
  6. Leave a few inches from the top and bottom for grilling.
  7. Make sure the thickness of the meat mixture around the skewer is even.
  8. Place the kebabs on a baking tray with raised sides so that the skewers can rest on it without the meat touching the tray.
  9. Cook on a grill until done.
  10. I baked mine in a 550*F oven for about 3- 4 minutes each side.
  11. Serve with a Persian salad, some grilled tomatoes and the Chelo rice.