Chelow kabab or Chelo kabab (Persian: چلوکباب) is the national dish of Iran. The meal is simple, consisting of steamed, saffroned basmati or Persian rice (چلو: chelow) and kabab, of which there are several distinct Persian varieties. This dish is served throughout Iran today, but was traditionally associated with the northern part of the country.
Chelow kabab is served with the basic Iranian meal accompaniments, in addition to grilled tomatoes on the side of the rice, and butter on top of the rice. Somagh (powdered sumac) can be sprinkled on the rice. It is an old north-western tradition (probably originating in Tabriz) that a raw egg yolk be placed on top of the rice, though this is optional and no longer common. In fact, unless specifically requested, most restaurants will not serve the rice this way due to safety concerns surrounding the consumption of raw eggs.
In the old bazaar tradition, the rice (which is covered with a tin lid) and accompaniments are served first, immediately followed by the kababs, which are brought to the table by the waiter, who holds several skewers in his left hand, and a piece of flat bread (typically nan-e lavash) in his right. A skewer is placed directly on the rice and while holding the kabab down on the rice with the bread, the skewer is quickly pulled out. With the two most common kababs, barg and koobideh, two skewers are always served. In general, bazaar kabab restaurants only serve these two varieties, though there are exceptions. A combination of one barg and one koobideh is typically called a soltani, meaning “for the sultan”.
The traditional beverage of choice to accompany chelow kabab is doogh, a Persian sour yogurt drink, flavored with salt and mint, and sometimes made with carbonated water.
Kabāb-e Barg (Persian: Kabāb-e Barg meaning Fillet Kebab) is a Persian style barbecued lamb, chicken or beef kabab dish. The main ingredients of Kabab-e Barg are fillets of beef tenderloin, lamb shank, and less commonly chicken, along with onions and olive oil.
The meat is cut in strips and given a marinade in olive oil, onions, garlic, saffron, salt and black pepper. It is then skewered and grilled. Tomatoes are grilled separately.
It is usually served with rice or bread, sometimes seasoned with sumac.
At Persian restaurants, the combination of one Kabab Barg and one Kabab Koobideh is typically called soltānī, meaning “sultan’s (meal)”.
Kabab koobideh (Persian: کباب کوبیده) or kūbide (Persian: کوبیده) is a Persian minced meat kabab made from ground lamb or beaf, and less commonly chicken, often mixed with parsley and chopped onions.
Jujeh-Kabab (Persian: جوجهکباب, literally grilled chicken) is an Iranian dish that consists of grilled chunks of chicken. It is common to marinate the chunks in minced onion, lemon juice and sometimes saffron.
Jujeh-kabab is a popular dish in Iran often served on basmati rice or wrapped in lavash bread, both of which are staples in the Iranian cuisine. The former is more often served in restaurants and elaborate parties such as wedding receptions while the latter is often eaten in domestic settings, kebab joints and picnics or packed for road trips. Other optional components include grilled tomatoes, peppers (grilled or raw), fresh lemons or other vegetable.
Shishlik or Shish Kebab: Shishlik meaning skewered meat is originally made of lamb and popular in many countries. In Iran, it is grilled meat with bones, previously marinated in onion, olive oil and saffron.
Kabab Torsh: Kabab torsh is a traditional kebab from Gilan province in Iran. It is made with beef – usually sirloin or tenderloin – marinated in a paste made of crushed walnuts, pomegranate juice or paste, chopped parsley, olive oil, and crushed garlic.