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Joojeh Kebab with Saffron Rice

Joojeh Kebab with Saffron Rice

A Persian/Iranian specialty; Joojeh Kebab are juicy, succulent pieces of grilled boneless chicken that are marinated in a mixture of yogurt, onion, lemon juice and saffron. These grilled or baked chicken skewers are served with beautifully aromatic saffron rice.

Persian Joojeh Kebab

Joojeh or Jujeh Kebab is a very popular dish from Iran. A marinade of yogurt is prepared with tangy lemon juice and fragrant crushed saffron. The chicken pieces are then left to marinate overnight for maximum tenderness and flavour. It's best to make the chicken on a charcoal grill but if you don't have one you can also bake or cook on a stovetop. 

Persian Saffron Rice

Joojeh Kebab can be served with my quick version of Saffron Rice (recipe below) and a Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad called Salad Shirazi.

Persian Joojeh Kebab

INGREDIENTS

FOR JOOJEH KABAB
  • 500g boneless chicken (cut in 2cm cubes)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 small onion (finely diced or grated)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp or to taste salt
  • 1/4 tsp saffron powder
FOR SAFFRON RICE
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

FOR JOOJEH KEBAB
  1. Add 1 tbsp boiling water to crushed saffron and let sit for 2-3 mins.
  2. Marinate chicken with all the ingredients including the saffron and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. Thread the chicken pieces on bamboo skewers.
  4. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place your grill rack on top and put the skewers on it.
  5. Bake at 200C for 30-35 mins till cooked through. Flip halfway so the chicken is attains a golden-brown colour on all sides.
  6. Alternatively, you can pan-fry the skewers with 2 tbsp additional olive oil.
  7. Serve with saffron rice.
FOR SAFFRON RICE
  1. Wash the rice till the water is clear. Then keep it soaked for 30 mins.
  2. Boil 1 1/2 cup water with salt. Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water.
  3. Increase the heat and cover the pan for 3 mins.
  4. When water has reduced add the butter and oil. Mix and cover the pan again. Leave on low flame for 8-10 mins or till the water has dried and the rice have fluffed up.
  5. Uncover the pan and let the heat dissipate.
  6. Soak few strands of saffron in 1 tbsp of boiling water.
  7. When the rice have cooled down take 1/4 cup of rice and mix with saffron.
  8. Put the white boiled rice on a platter and spread the saffron-coloured rice on top of it. Serve.