Kabob Torsh is a unique Iranian dish made with juicy beef marinated in pomegranate molasses, walnuts and herbs. This marinated beef kabob from northern Iran is usually served with rice.
When it comes to kabobs and grilling recipes, Persian cuisine has a lot to offer. From joojeh kabab and kabob koobideh to chenjeh which is a classic, there are many delicious grilling recipes with Persian flavors that you can try. One of the most unique kabobs I have worked on is kabob torsh which I'm so happy to share with you today!
Table Of Contents:
Ingredients To Make Kabob Torsh
- Beef: Traditionally this recipe is made with lamb, but, since many prefer the flavor of beef, I've used beef in this recipe. Beef ribeye has a similar texture to lamb since it has nice marbling and enough fat content to keep it juicy. However, you can use lamb shoulder or beef tenderloin as well.
- Pomegranate molasses: A quintessential ingredients in Persian cooking, pomegranate molasses has a sour taste that balances the richness of the meat. Find it at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean shops as well as online. You can also use pomegranate molasses to make morgh nardooni which is a pomegranate chicken dish from northern Iran.
- Walnuts: To add more flavor and a nice crust.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works best in this recipe.
- Garlic cloves: A couple cloves of garlic add a lot of flavor to the marinade.
- Herbs: Kabob torsh is traditionally made with chochagh, and aromatic herb that grows in north of Iran. The flavor is somehow similar to a combination of mint and parsley which are the herbs I used to make the marinade.
- Onion: To flavor the beef and bring the marinade together.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Flavors: The combination of pomegranate molasses and walnuts gives so much flavor to the beef, making this a special dish that everyone loves. We use the combination of pomegranate molasses and walnuts in other Iranian recipes such as fesenjan.
- Texture: Using ribeye ensures that the kebabs are going to be tender and juicy. We'll be talking in depth later on what kind of meat to use for this recipe.
- Prep ahead: Perfect for entertaining, you can marinate the beef chunks a day in advance and cook them right when you're ready to serve.
How To Make Kabob Torsh
- Cut the beef ribeye into 1 inch chunks and place them in a bowl.
- Place the walnuts, herbs, garlic cloves, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and onion in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until all comes together and form a paste.
- Mix the beef chunks with this mixture and make sure every piece is coated well with the marinade.
- Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- When you're ready to grill, take the marinated beef out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium high.
- Thread the marinated beef chunks on skewers and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until they reach the desired doneness. Brush with a mixture of melted butter and saffron for extra flavor and then season with salt. Remove them from the skewers using a piece of lavash or any other thin bread.
Tips To Make The Best Persian Beef Kabobs
- Salt: It's important to season the kebabs with salt at the very end. Salt toughens the beef chunks and that's why we don't add it to the marinade.
- Heat: Since the marinade has a consistency of a paste and forms a crust around the beef chunks, it might burn easily if the heat is too high. If you're not comfortable with medium high heat, grill these Persian pomegranate flavored kabobs over medium heat. The cooking time would be a couple of minutes longer.
- Grill: Iranians usually use the classic mangal, which is a rectangle shaped charcoal grill without grates (or with removable grates). With a mangal, kebabs are grilled directly over charcoal. However, if you don't have a mangal at home, you can still make kabab torsh over any other grill as long as you manage the heat.
Like many other Persian grilled dishes, kabab torsh is served with Persian style rice, some kind of a flatbread such as lavash, herbs including mint and basil, Persian yogurt and cucumber (mast o khiar) and of course, some red onion if available. Since this dish is from the north of Iran, I usually serve it with green olives or zeytoon parvardeh (marinated olives) as well.
We also love grilled tomatoes and peppers on the side. To do so, thread a few tomatoes and peppers separately on skewers and place them on the grill. Rotate every couple of minutes to make sure they grill evenly.
While it takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the peppers to be ready, the tomatoes need 15 to 20 minutes to cook completely. The skin will be charred, which is fine because we peel them right before eating.
Storage And Reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the kabobs in a pan over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, covered. You can also place them in a baking pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Besides ribeye, you can use sirloin or tenderloin if using beef. It's important that the cut you use has a good fat content to keep the meat tender. You can also use lamb shoulder to make kabob torsh.
Pomegranate molasses has a special flavor that's necessary for this recipe therefore there isn't really a good substitute for it.
While walnuts are the classic addition to this recipe, if you have allergies or would like to use any other nuts, use pecans, pistachios or cashews to make the marinade.
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Kabob Torsh - Persian Pomegranate Walnut Kabobs
- 1 ½ lb beef ribeye
- ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup mint
- ¾ cup parsley
- ½ white onion
- ¼ tsp ground saffron
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- Cut the ribeye into 1-inch chunks and place them in a bowl.
- Place the pomegranate molasses, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, mint, parsley and white onion in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until all is combined and a paste is formed. Add more olive oil if the texture isn't right yet.
- Toss the beef with the paste and make sure all the pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When you're ready to grill, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and let the beef come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium high.
- Sprinkle the saffron over 2 cubes of ice and let it melt completely. This will be your bloomed saffron. Melt the butter and then mix it with the bloomed saffron. Set aside.
- Thread the beef pieces on skewers and place them on the grill. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until the meat it done to your preference. Brush with the bloomed saffron and melted butter mixture, then season with salt.
- Remove the kabobs from the skewers using a thin bread such as lavash or just a fork.
- Be sure to season the kabobs with salt right before you take them off the grill. Salt tends to toughen the meat that's why I don't recommend adding it to the marinade.
- It's common to serve Persian kabobs with grilled tomatoes. To do so, thread the tomatoes on a skewer, place them on the grill and flip them every 2-3 minutes so they cook evenly. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for the tomatoes to cook completely. The skin will be charred and that's okay since we'll be peeling it off before eating.
- You can serve this Persian beef kabob with Persian rice and tahdig, mast o khiar (yogurt and cucumber), lavash, herbs and red onion. I also like to have some green olives or zeytoon parvardeh (marinated olives) on the side.