Iranian Barbecued Rabbit

(Liz Roudiani)
One (or more) tender rabbit(s)
Plain youghurt (enough to pour over and cover the rabbit)
A medium sized onion (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Soy sauce


The day before:

Prepare the rabbit how ever you want to serve it; you can cut it into joints, cut the meat up into chunks to thread on skewers (fiddly for the cook, but makes for a more civilised barbecue) or if they're really small ones you can just cut them in half down the spine.

Tip the yoghurt into a dish large enough to hold the rabbit. Add the onion, lemon juice and a dash of soy sauce. Then add the saffron. Saffron doesn't soak into yoghurt very well, so the best way to add it is to soak it in half an egg-cup of very hot water for 10-15 minutes, then bung it in, water and all. You need enough to turn the yoghurt daffodil coloured - about a quarter of a teaspoon. Stir well, leave it for half an hour, then stir it again.

Put the rabbit into the dish and make sure each piece is completely covered with the yoghurt mixture. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Rabbit tending barbecue 3Kb

The Next Day:

Fish the rabbit out of the marinade and chuck it on the barby. You need the charcoal to be really hot and it helps to brush the rabbit with melted butter or olive oil while it is cooking. Cook until it is very slightly blackened round the edges and cooked through to the middle.
For the less adventurous you can cook the rabbit under a hot grill if you really want to but it's a lot better done over charcoal.

The traditional accompaniament to this dish is Basmati rice sprinkled with sumac and small knobs of unsalted butter.

Another good way to serve it is with chunks of courgette and button mushrooms threaded onto skewers. Brush them with what is left of the yoghurt marinade and cook them on the barbecue.

This recipe also works well with lamb (chops or chunks), pheasant, partridge or chicken.

Rabbit Recipes