Iraqi Kabob

I love coming home for the weekend. It’s great to see my family – not just my parents and brother, but my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. When we gather together, I can count on more than food than we eat, stories that prompt endless laughter, and tea. This Friday, as my brother and I talked about what we wanted to eat for dinner the next evening (yeah, we talk about a food, a lot), he suggested that we make beef kabob. Brilliant. It had been so long since I’ve eaten home made kabob: it’s juicy and tender, and melts in your mouth, especially if you have a bite just as it’s coming off the grill. Now, just to clarify, many other Middle Eastern countries refer to Iraqi Kabob as kafta. They use the term kabob to describe chunks of meat or poultry, usually the kind that is grilled on skewers.

Friday afternoon, after my dad came back from work, we ventured to Costco to collect supplies for kabob. (I love Costco! No, I was not paid or given any freebies to make that statement.) While we were assessing the meat at the meat counter, we decided that kabob wasn’t enough. Why not make hamburgers as well? A Friday feast was in the making! After Costco, we stopped at one of the local Middle Eastern markets for fresh bread that we call sumoon. Diamond shaped, this bread is fluffy and light. When it’s fresh out of the ovens, it is absolutely addicting. We have to restrain ourselves from eating all the bread at once.

When we got back home, back from our grocery run, I began chopping the parsley, tomatoes, and onions. I mixed everything together and began making the kabobs. I should warn you, it was only my second time making kabob. So when my mom came home from work, I eagerly sought her opinion. Naturally, the first few kabobs I had made were too long, and way too fat. But with my mom’s help, I made some beautifully-shaped kabobs. Be sure to cut the onions, parsley, and tomatoes, very very small. I had cut mine a tad too large, which makes it more difficult to form the individual kabobs. All in all, it was a very successful family dinner. I made the kabobs with my mom’s help, my dad grilled, and my brother made hamburgers. Like I said, I love coming home on the weekends. Food, family, and fun 🙂

Diamond shaped Iraqi bread


5 pounds ground beef

1/2 bundle of parsley, finely chopped

1 medium tomato, finely diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

salt and pepper


In large bowl, combine the meat, parsley, tomato, onion, salt, and pepper. As you mix the meat, be sure not to press, or mush the meat. You want to slowly crumble the meat with your fingers to incorporate the meat and vegetables. If you over mix the meat, it loses the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness once it’s cooked.

Using a long metal skewer, grab about a quarter pound of meat and place it on the skewer. Quickly press (or mush) the meat together, while elongating it along the skewer. I’d say that each kabob should be around six to seven inches. Once the kabob is formed, slowly slide the meat off the skewer and onto a platter. Repeat until you have used all of the meat.

When you have finished making all of the kabobs, heat the grill to about 400 degrees Farenheit. Cook the kabobs for about four minutes on each side. That’ll give you kabobs that are medium. You definitely do not want to overcook your meat (well-done meat is really too dry for kabob). As the kabobs come off the grill, sprinkle generously with sumac. The sumac adds a wonderful tart freshness to the meat. Serve the kabobs with sliced tomatoes, parsley, and fresh bread. Enjoy!

Kebob, bread, and tomato



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  1. July 7, 2014

    This Kebab (not Bebob) is simply magical in taste. However; 2 tips for you
    1- you should grill it on coal because coal fire and smoke adds the rich smoky taste
    2- ensure to have 15-20% fat in the mix and no softbones should be all tender meat.

    ..and yes; it is probably the MOST tasty kebab on this planet.

  2. […] of Sundays to cook at least a few meals for the week. For our grilling extravaganza, we made beef kabob and these salmon kabobs. Some family friends stopped by for evening tea. They had already eaten […]

  3. mg
    June 18, 2016

    How much salt and pepper do you use?

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