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Recently, I have been craving kebabs and the classic cucumber yogurt dressing. Something about those flavors has been calling to me and I’ve had the meal on my mind for several weeks now.
So, needless to say, when I got my hands on a copy of Ariana Mullins’ new book, “And Here We Are At The Table” (affiliate link) and saw the recipe for Chelo Kebabs & Cucumber Yogurt Salad, I knew what I was making for dinner!
I asked Ariana if she would be open to allowing me to share this recipe with you and she said yes! YAY!
Chelo Kebabs is the national dish of Iran, is super easy to make, and is amazingly delicious. Turns out, as I went through my kitchen, I had everything I needed on hand. That always makes me happy — anything to save a trip to the grocery store!
I made a few alterations to the recipe, based on what I had on hand, but they were nothing that overly changed the recipe as a whole:
- I’m not a huge fan of lamb, so I stuck with all ground beef since that is what I had on hand.
- I didn’t have yogurt, so I used sour cream instead of the yogurt in the cucumber salad.
That’s it! I am pretty sure everyone will enjoy this recipe. The only thing I will change next time is to triple the recipe so I can throw a bunch in the freezer for fast snacks and meals. YUM!
Note: Traditionally, this meal is served with basmati or Persian rice, but for us grain-free folks, we have to skip that. My garlic herb cauliflower rice would make a delicious alternative. Or, if you’re like me, I enjoyed it on its own over some baby greens with the cucumber yogurt salad. Delish!
- FOR THE CHELO KEBABS
- 1 medium onion, skinned and cut into quarters
- 1 lb (500g) fatty ground beef or ground lamb (I usually ask my butcher to give me a blend of 75% beef, 25% lamb)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- a generous pinch of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon 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, optional
- FOR THE CUCUMBER YOGURT SALAD
- 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs– one or any combination of the following: dill,
- mint, coriander (cilantro) parsley or oregano
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- half of an English cucumber, chopped into fine dice.
- FOR THE CHELO KEBABS
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnish the chelo kebabs with fresh herbs and lemon wedges, and serve with cucumber yogurt salad and rice (we do Cauliflower Rice - recipe here).
- FOR THE CUCUMBER YOGURT SALAD
- 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.
- Stir in the diced cucumber and garnish with fresh herbs, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Enjoy! We eat this as a salad itself, or as a dip or condiment.
About And Here We Are At The Table
I love Ariana’s book because it introduces us to new recipes and flavors that we have not seen before. In the paleo world, there always seem to be a lot of recipe repeats, but with this book, you get to sample flavors from across the globe in a new and interesting way.
All of the recipes in this book are grain-free and perfect for those following a paleo / primal diet, or for those who are just needing to avoid this common allergen. But, even if you’re not following a special style of eating, you will enjoy these recipes. In Ariana’s book, you will find:
- 50 recipes with beautiful photographs
- 3 cooking class videos, a total of 40 minutes of tutorials
- Clear and detailed instructions that anyone can follow, regardless of experience
- Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, Sides, Salads, Sauces, Desserts and Drinks
- Vibrant flavors from all over the world
Want to take a look at what you can expect? Check out the table of contents!
I want to try everything, but the next four recipes on my “to make” list are:
- Coconut Chicken Curry
- Deeply-Rooted Beef Stew
- Carrot and Parsnip Cake
- Tahini Molasses Cookies
What Makes This Book Special?
There are a few things that make this digital cookbook unique:
- Over 100 pages with lots of colorful photos
- 50 international recipes that anyone can cook
- Travel tales with many recipes containing links to related stories
- Really detailed instructions and tips that will be helpful for beginners
- Cooking tutorial videos (3 of them, 40 minutes total)
- This is a cookbook about good food and eating well, that happens to be grain-free–
so it’s for everyone, not just people on a grain-free diet
And Here We Are At The Table retails for $29.99 and in my opinion is worth every penny.