A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Kabab Iroog

So.. awhile back I found a fantastic looking recipe for an Iraqi dish here.

I decided to make it, and then promptly forgot about it. Well I rembered for some reason, and determined to make it.

I couldnt find much helpful on making some biryani spice, so I asked some friends, and Lanfaedhe suggested the following:

14:26:55 [lanfaedhe] my usual mix is 3 parts cumin, 3 parts coriander, 2 parts tumeric, 1 part chili

To which I added about 2 parts curry as well.

Well here's the recipe:

Kabab Iroog
This is a traditional Iraqi form of ‘Kabab’ but instead of being cooked on a ‘sheesh’, it is fried in an ordinary frying pan. The finished product should look like an oval hamburger- but not as smooth.

Depending on the size of the kababs, this mix makes from 15 – 25 kababs.


2 cups ground beef (don’t know how much two cups is in pounds or kilos- we measure by sight)
1 large bell pepper/ green pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 ¾ cup flour
about 1 teaspoon chopped parsley (some like to use coriander)
1 teaspoon salt
black or white pepper (as much as you want)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon beryani spices (probably not available- but also not necessary)
corn oil (or any other vegetable oil- but not olive oil)
curry (optional)

1. Mix the ground beef, bell pepper, tomato, onion, garlic and flour together in a large bowl. Add the black pepper, salt, parsley and other spices to the mix.

2. Mix the whole thing by hand, squishing it around until everything looks more or less ‘together’. Try forming a small ‘patty’ with the mixture, does it hold together? If it’s too wet, add some more flour. If it’s too dry, add some water.

3. Heat about ¾ cup vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Form the mixture into oval kabab patties that are about 4 inches long, 2 inches across and only half an inch thick. It’s best to have a small bowl of cold water on hand to dunk your fingers in so that the mixture doesn’t stick to them.

4. Carefully place them in the heated oil, like you would a hamburger and give them a couple of minutes to cook on one side. Don’t put more than 5 together in the pan. Before flipping them all to the other side, tentatively check the cooked side- the color should have changed from pinkish to an orange-brown.

5. After each kabab has cooked, place it on some paper towels or napkins to drain the excess oil.

This is best eaten with lentil soup, or other types of soup, and a fresh lettuce salad. Here in Iraq, we sometimes make sandwiches with Kabab Iroog by putting them into some bread (our bread is odd-looking but wonderful- I could write poetry about the bread), with shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes. They need neither ketchup nor mustard- they have their own flavor.


And damn it was good stuff. I cant imagine being able to accurately describe a taste to you, but I'll try anyway. It tasted *like* hamburger, but was very obviously flavored by the biryani. The flour in it gave it a different consistency, and perhaps influenced the taste as well, and one friend said it tasted a little like a paste. But it was absolutely fantastic. We picked up some Lentil soup mix and it was fantastic as well, and the two really did go well together.

So, if you read this and are just a little bit adventuresome in the kitchen, I HIGHLY recommend giving it a try!

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