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Chelo Kebabs and Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Chelo Kebabs is the national dish of Iran, is super easy to make, and is amazingly delicious. Traditionally, this meal is served with basmati or Persian rice, but you could also serve it over other favorite rice varieties, or go grain-free with quinoa or simply serve it over favorite greens as in this recipe.


For the Chelo Kebabs

1 medium onion, skinned and cut into quarters
1 lb (500g) fatty ground beef or ground lamb* (preferably organic free range)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
a generous pinch of aluminum-free baking powder**
1 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 tsp dried mint chopped fresh herbs like coriander (cilantro) or parsley to garnish
optional chili flakes and ground sumac to garnish
optional lemon wedges to garnish

*Note: A mix of 75% or less ground beef with 25% or more lamb works wonderfully

**Make your own aluminum-free baking soda with this super easy recipe:

Aluminum-Free Homemade Baking Powder

For the Cucumber Yogurt Salad

1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs - one or any combination of dill, mint, coriander (cilantro) parsley or oregano
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
half of an English or other cucumber finely diced

(As always, choose organic content and fresh content as much as possible for the healthiest recipe.)



For the Chelo Kebabs

1. Put the onion into the food processor and let it chop it up fine. Gather the onions to one side of the work bowl and use a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel to press as much liquid out as you can.

2. Add the meat, salt, spices and baking powder, and process for about 30 seconds to one minute. You want the meat to be smooth and well-blended. This might seem weird, but it works!

3. Form the meat into kebabs. It will be sticky, and if you want you can dip your fingers into a bowl of cold water between kebabs to make them less sticky.

4. You can either put them on kebab skewers, or just form them into a long sausage shape and place them on the baking sheet. (The authentic way to form them is to make them much thinner and longer than the ones you see here. I do them like this because it’s much easier, logistically.) If you have more than you need, or are cooking ahead, you can put them on an extra baking sheet to flash freeze.

5. Cook them under the broiler under full heat. This will be very quick, about 3-4 minutes on each side. You’ll know they’re done when they start to brown a bit and smell ridiculously good. For the ones that you have frozen, bake straight from the freezer at 450’ F for 8-10 minutes on each side.

6. Garnish the chelo kebabs with fresh herbs and lemon wedges, and serve with cucumber yogurt salad and rice.

For the Cucumber Yogurt Salad

1. Combine everything except for the cucumbers into a bowl, and whisk together until the olive oil is fully incorporated. Taste and see if this dressings needs more salt or lemon juice.

2. Stir in the diced cucumber and garnish with fresh herbs, and drizzle with a little olive oil.

3. Enjoy! You can eat this as a salad itself, or as a dip or condiment.

Original recipe and image source: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2014/09/chelo-kebabs-cucumber-yogurt-salad/

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