Thursday, February 11, 2010

Iran - Kebab Koobideh

Being an American I don’t have a very good image of Iran. What stands out in my mind is the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981. It particularly hit home with my family and me because the hostages were American Embassy employees – like my parents. I remember having fourth grade fantasies that I would go over to Iran and somehow free those poor captives.

Since then, there have been other clashes with the West and my tainted image has only been reaffirmed. However, I would like to draw my own conclusions. I wish I could see Iran for what it is: the warm people, the beautiful mosques, the loud and dynamic city of Tehran, the ancient Persian city of Esfahan and the ruins in Persepolis. It is unlikely that I will see these places in person, at least not anytime soon. But I promise to try and learn about it, see it beyond my ingrained prejudices.

For our Iranian meal we had the popular Kebab Koobideh, minced meat made from lamb, beef or chicken. It’s prepared by mixing the meat with parsley, chopped onions, salt, pepper, turmeric and other seasonings. It is mixed together - an egg added to keep the mixture from falling apart - and then the mixture is pressed around a skewer.

We had both the lamb and the beef Koobideh from a little Middle Eastern restaurant in Oakville called Kebab Stop. We loved the Koobideh; it tasted like meatloaf only a bit spicier – though not at all spicy. The meat was tender, slightly juicy and we ate it with basmati rice and a salad. The kids loved it and even had the leftovers in their school lunch the next day.

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