Persian Chicken Kabob (Kabob-eh Morgh)

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Persian Chicken Kabob (Kabob-eh Morgh) by FamilySpice.comThere used to be a time when no one in the U.S. heard of “kabobs.” When I grew up in Houston, for example, the nearest Persian restaurant was an hour away. No bamboo skewers were to be found at the grocery store. Making kabob at home was a lot of work. Especially without skewers! But today, everyone is making kabob and making kabob their own. Stick any food on a stick, call it kabob and enjoy.

My grandmother was an amazing cook. She also made amazing kabob, the old fashion way: stooped over a small charcoal stove, fanning the flames by hand. My mother-in-law is equally talented as a cook and I have learned even more about Persian cooking from her. And since my kids love kabob so much, my husband and I team up and make it often and at home.

Although everyone loves Ground Beef Kabob (Kabob-e Koobideh), I tend to prefer Chicken Kabob, Kabob-eh Morgh, for quick everyday meals. It is easier to make, quicker to prepare and definitely lighter in calories!

Traditionally, Persian Chicken Kabob begins with marinating chicken breast in a yogurt, onion, saffron mixture. Yogurt makes a terrific marinade, as it tenderizes the meat as lemon juice or vinegar would do.

Persian Chicken Kabob (Kabob-eh Morgh) by

Traditionally Persian Chicken Kabob is served with grilled tomatoes, onions and any other grilled vegetables you like with a big bed of basmati rice. We always enjoy our Chicken Kabob with Shirazi Salad or Mast-o Khiar (Persian Yogurt with Cucumbers) and a plate of fresh herbs, onions and radishes. I’m getting hungry just typing about it!

A little phonetics lesson is also included in this post. It’s a minor pet peeve of mine. Kabob is pronounced: ka (like the ‘a’ in ‘at’) bob (like your  pal named ‘Bob’). It’s not kay-bab or kuh-bab or whatever.


Americans might slur it together and say kuh-bob, and spell it kebab, but that’s wrong, too.


Learn it. Love it. Lesson over.

Here is the full recipe for Persian Chicken Kabob, aka Kabob-eh Morgh.

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9 Responses to Persian Chicken Kabob (Kabob-eh Morgh)

  1. Who doesn’t like kabobs? My favorites usually involve lamb, but chicken is wonderful too. And speaking of wonderful (we were, weren’t we?), love your recipe. Saffron makes everything better, yes? But you knew that! ;-)

    • Ha! You definitely know me: everything is always better with saffron!

  2. Eha at #

    So agree with you re your ‘pet peeve’ :) ! Actually I pronounce the ‘ka’ as ‘kaah’!! And, of course, there are similar delicious dishes we write as ‘kabab’, ‘kepbabab’, ‘kabab’, ‘shish kebab’, ‘sharwma’, ‘Gyro’ and ‘tikkah’ . . . . Birds or a feather and so delightful!!!! . . . the Persian version has indeed a lot of finesse!!!!!!

  3. mjskit at #

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve been wanting to try a kabob that uses a yogurt marinade for a long time. I love the spices and other ingredients you use in the marinade, so I think my waiting is over. Thanks!

  4. They’re called kebabs here in Australia and they’re really common. There are kebab shops that are open really late and that’s what the folks who leave the clubs eat before going home.

    I love this stuff but I’ve never eaten it late at night. :)

  5. I love kabobs but have never made them at home! The ones I buy pre-made at Ralph’s or wherever are always so hard to grill – different sized bits I suppose. I should just give your recipe a try – I love chicken marinated in yogurt!

  6. Amy at #

    This looks awesome! Random question….if a recipe calls for 1/2 tsp ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 TBS of water how much saffron would I use if it is already in the liquid form? And would I still mix it with water? What do you think?

    • You want your chicken to have a golden hue to it. If your liquid saffron is super concentrated, then add 1 teaspoon of water and see what the mixture looks like. You want enough saffron so that the marinade itself (without adding chicken) is a light orange color. Hope that helps!

      • Amy at #

        That’s perfect! Thank you!!!

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