Cholo Kebab

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Cholo Kebab, (the Cholo means plain white rice) is most probably one of the best known dishes when you go to an Iranian restaurant. The home made ones can taste just as good as long as have more fat in your meat to bind the meat and keep the kebab moist. There’s nothing worse than a tough, dry kebab.

This recipe is enough for 4 to 6 servings 


For the Kebab:

250g Mince meat (lamb)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

cinnamon (Large pinch of ground cinnamon)

saffron (Large pinch of ground saffron)

onion (half a medium size finely chopped)

5 tbsp Oil (vegetable)

For the rice

2 tsp Sumac

2 1/2 cups good white rice

3 tbsp Oil (vegetable)

Tomato (I’ve used cherry tomatoes here, but you could use bigger tomatoes)


Step 1

  • Add the spices (salt, black pepper, saffron and cinnamon) to a large mixing bowl.

  • Finely chop half a medium sized onion and add to the spices.

kebab - spices and onion
  • Add the mince meat to the spices and onion and mix well using your hands so that the spices and onions bind with the mince meat.

Kebab - mince meat and spices

Step 2

  • Cover the meat with cling film and let it rest for half an hour.

  • Once the meat has rested add 5 tbsp of oil to a frying pan and place on a low heat.

  • Make golf sized balls out of the mince meat and pat each of them so that each fits the palm of your hand or slightly bigger.

Kebab - Flattened mince meat

Step 3

  • Place the flattened meat in the frying pan and raise the heat to medium so as the meat starts to fry, turn over and fry the other side.

Kebab - fried

  • The meat will start to release it’s juices, take a spoon and spoon the juices over the meat.

  • Cover the top of your frying pan and reduce the heat so that the meat cooks through completely.

  • Once the first batch has cooked remove from the frying pan and replace with the next batch.

Serve the Kebab’s with saffron rice sprinkled with sumac. (I layered the sumac between the rice so that as the rice steamed with the saffron it took the flavour of the sumac as well) and a side of barbecued tomatoes.

Saffron rice - somak - tomatoes

(I barbecued my tomatoes on the hob!).

This dish is usually served with onions. Enjoy.

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