Middle Eastern

Kabab Torsh (Sour Kebab)

Sahar’s Story

I came to Sydney in 2008 to do my masters degree, where I was living until my recent relocation to Melbourne. I never considered myself much of a cook back home in Tehran, but living away from my native metropolis, I’ve found myself slaving away in the kitchen more often, reproducing my favourite Persian dishes- such as Kabab Torsh. Torsh in Farsi means sour. So the whole concept is that the paste gives the meat a kind of sourness.


500g lamb fillet, cut into 4cm cubes
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 cup crushed walnuts
2-4 tablespoons pomegranate paste* (depending on how sour you like the kebab)
1 medium to large tomato, flesh grated
1 bunch of mint, to garnish


1) Combine the lamb, yoghurt, walnuts, paste and tomato in a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 4-24 hours (the longer the better).

2) When ready, season lamb with salt just before cooking. Place lamb on skewers and cook over a chargrill or barbecue, turning occasionally, until cooked. Serve on a plate, garnished with fresh mint.

* Pomegranate paste is from Middle Eastern stores. If unavailable, you can substitute it with pomegranate molasses, but the latter is sweeter and thicker, so the result is somewhat different.

For more on Sahar’s story and Persian cuisine, see our feature story here