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Jujeh kabab is a traditional chicken kebab recipe from Iran. The dish is a staple in all Persian restaurants. Marinating the chicken in yoghurt makes it super tender. It can be served with salty, buttery rice, and it’s exactly the type of wholesome comfort food you need.


Step 1: Marinate the meat

Rub your meat in the turmeric and add the oil and saffron water. Let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes so that it takes in the colour. Then add lemon juice, sliced onions, tinned tomatoes and mix well. Add the yoghurt and give it a final mix, then leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Step 2: Cook the rice

The next day, rinse your rice in warm water and put it in a large container. Let the tap run through the rice until the water turns clear. Turn off the tap and leave the rice to soak at room temperature for a couple of hours. When ready to cook, drain the rice and add it to a pot of salted boiling water. Once the rice is added, reduce to a simmer and after 2 minutes, drain into a colander. Add a couple of glugs of vegetable oil, so the rice doesn’t stick together, and leave for a few minutes, shaking occasionally.

For Jujeh kabab

  • 3 chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 30ml rapeseed oil
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 25ml water infused with a pinch of saffron
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 125g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 150g thickened yoghurt
  • 3 vine tomatoes
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Step 3: Reserve the rice

Add some vegetable oil to the empty pot (non-stick preferably) you used to boil the rice. Return the rice to the pot and cover with a lid that’s wrapped in a tea towel. Return to a low heat while you cook the meat; use a diffuser if you have one.

Step 4: Cook the chicken

If you have a barbecue, thread the chicken breasts onto the skewers and cook over the hot coals, adding the whole tomatoes at the end. If not, pre-heat the grill, lay the chicken breasts on a flat tray with a couple of tomatoes of your choice dotted around, cook until nicely coloured and the tomatoes start breaking down. Flip the chicken breasts and cook until both sides are nicely charred. Serve with the steaming hot rice, a good knob of butter, the mushy roasted tomatoes and some sliced red onions.

For the rice

  • 200g Amira basmati superior rice or extra-long sella rice
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil

by Kian Samyani


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