Persian Beef Kabobs Marinated with Pomegranate, Molasses and Walnut (Torsh Kabob)

Kabobs take pride of place among other meat dishes in Persian cuisine. There are many different kabob recipes from all over Iran and, of course, the middle east! Kabob is more of a family meal in Iran. It’s a dish that definitely gets served on special occasions, but more than that, kabob is a picnic food! Making kabob for picnics is something that every kid in Iran grows up with. My childhood memories are tied to the weekends that my mom was marinating kabob the night before the picnic and my dad cooking kabobs over charcoal grill in the park. Torsh kabob originates in the north of Iran. There is an herb for marinating this kabob and it’s specifically just grown in northern Iran called Chochagh. As I’m trying to adopt the recipes to where I live, I’m using other aromatic herbs instead. Kabobs are best cooked on a charcoal grill to get the smoky flavor but a gas barbecue is also fine. However, if you crave for kabob in winter and you live in a city with brutal winters, then a cast-iron pan is the best choice. Two best things to serve with kabob are lavash bread and/or saffron rice. There are many side dishes which go very well with kabob such as Mast-o Moosir (yogurt and Persian shallot dip), Torshi (pickled vegetables), Shirazi salad or fresh herbs.
Yield 4 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Marinating Time 720 min Cooking Time 20 min Total Time 760 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup (125 mL) walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup (125 mL) EACH packed fresh cilantro leaves and parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil (approx)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) golpar (Persian hogweed), optional
  • 2 Beef Rib Eye Steaks (about 1½ lb/750 g total)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) pomegranate molasses
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Green Thai chili peppers or other hot peppers
  • Cherry or small tomatoes on the vine

To Serve (as desired)

  • Lavash bread, Plain yogurt, Torshi (pickled vegetables)

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Combine lemon juice, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, parsley, mint, 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil, salt, pepper and golpar (if using). Process until finely chopped and mixed together, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Transfer to a large bowl, add pomegranate molasses and stir to make a paste. Set aside.
  2. Cut beef into 1½-inch (4 cm) cubes and add to paste in a bowl; stir until the beef is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Meanwhile, soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Thread beef onto the soaked skewers, about 4 to 5 pieces per skewer. Pat dry with paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet over a medium-high heat until very hot. Thread the chilies onto a soaked skewer. Cook the chilies and tomatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the chili skewer, until you get a nice char. Transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Return skillet to medium-high heat, adding a splash of oil, if necessary. Cook beef skewers, in batches as necessary, for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning to char beef all over, until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted in the beef reads 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare at the least. Add to the platter.
  6. Serves the Torsh kabob, chilies and charred tomatoes with lavash bread, plain yogurt and/or Torshi (pickled vegetables), as desired.