Kaleh Pacheh | igotitfrommymaman.com
Breakfast,  Persian Classics

Kaleh Pacheh – Sheep Head and Feet

Kaleh Pacheh is a dish that divides people’s opinions – You either love it or hate it. In Iran I’d say the majority of people love it!

Kaleh Pacheh simply means head and feet, because these are the main ingredients: Sheep heads including meat, brain, eyes and tongue and sheep feet.

Some people might be appalled by the thought of eating these parts of the animal but I suggest you give it a try, they are truly delicious and keep you full the whole day. My German in-laws love it!

Also it’s a step towards more sustainability when it comes to consuming meat. If we eat the animal’s meat, why throw away the perfectly edible head and feet?

Kaleh Pacheh is traditionally eaten for breakfast because it is quite heavy and shouldn’t ever be consumed in the evening. If eaten for breakfast or lunch it energises you for the whole day.

The best way to eat Kalah Pacheh in my opinion is with family or a group of friends. First of all eating together is always more enjoyable and secondly the preparation of this dish takes lots of time, so you wanna make the most of it. Alternatively you can freeze part of it for later, if you plan on eating it in the next couple of weeks.

Kaleh Pacheh | Persian Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

Ingredients (serving 6)

2 sheep heads (You can add extra tongues and brain, as they are also sold separately. Extra brain should be cooked in a separate pan, just because it is very soft and would crumble in a large pan with the other ingredients)
10 sheep feet
1 big carrot
3 onions
2 garlic bulbs (I used one bulb of fresh garlic and one regular bulb)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 stalks celery
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

What to buy for Kaleh Pacheh
You can find the ingredients for Kaleh Pacheh in Turkish or Middle Eastern butcheries.

Time

Prep: 30 to 45 min

Cook: 4 h

Total: 4 h 30 to 45 min

Method

Pre-boil the Kaleh Pacheh and drain the water

I use a large iron pan but any large pan will work.

Transfer the heads, feet and any extra tongues you might have into the pan. Cover them with water and bring it to boil.

Let it boil for 5 minutes, then drain all the water. I know it’s bloody heavy, but if I can do it with an iron pan, so can you! Don’t worry, it’s well worth the effort. I guarantee the Kaleh Pacheh will restore all the energy you used many times over.

Cover the ingredients with water once more and bring it to boil again. Let it boil for another 5 minutes and drain the water once more.

Alternatively you can leave the ingredients in the boiling water for 15 minutes the first time, so you only have to drain the water once.

Wether you choose to drain the water once or twice, if you see any foam in the pan or on the ingredients after the final drain, simply rinse it and wash it away.

This method ensures that any excess fat and blood in the form of foam are flushed away, which makes for a much cleaner and more appetising Kaleh Pacheh.

Now make sure that the heads are in the bottom of the pan so that the more delicate feet won’t be squashed by them.

Prep the veg

Peel the carrot and onions. When peeling the onionsdon’t cut off the bottom parts, so they don’t fall apart in the cooking process.

Divide one of the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and peel each of them. Only peel the outer layer of the second garlic bulb and leave this one whole. I used one regular garlic bulb and one bulb of fresh garlic. I left the fresh one whole. If you don’t have or want to use fresh garlic, simply use regular one.

Wash all the veg including the celery stalks and spread them out in the pan. They will be removed later.

Veggies for Kaleh Pacheh

Cook the Kaleh Pacheh

Add the cinnamon sticks to the pan and fill it with water so that the ingredients are half covered.

Starting to cook the Kaleh Pacheh

Bring the water to boil. If more foam or fat builds on the surface skim it off with a spoon.

Put the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Let the Kaleh Pacheh simmer for 2 hours.

After 2 hours remove the onions, carrot, celery stalks and the whole garlic bulb.

Season with turmeric, black pepper and salt. Turn the sheep heads to make sure they cook evenly.

Put the lid back on and let the Kaleh Pacheh simmer for another 2 hours.

Kaleh Pacheh | Persian Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

Serve the Kaleh Pacheh

Remove the sheep heads and feet from the pan. Everything is cooked extremely well by now, so you can easily remove the meat, tongue, brain and eyes from the skulls. The eyes are known to be the best part, so keep them for yourself. This is your reward! 😉

The tongues need to be skinned off. If you hold thm under cool water, the skin should come off easily.

Serve the broth with bread. If you can get your hands on noon sangak it would be perfect but alternatively you can use any other flat bread.

Serve the meat, brain, tongues, eyes and feet with sir torshi (pickled garlic), other torshi (pickles) you like, cinnamon powder, lemon juice and bread.

Make sure to put on a nice can of tea, that you can enjoy with nabaat afterwards.

Enjoy!


Kaleh Pacheh

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Kalapch, Kaleh pacheh, Sheep feet, Sheep head
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 sheep head
  • 10 sheep feet
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 onions
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Pre-boil the Kaleh Pacheh and drain the water

  1. I use a large iron pan but any large pan will work. Transfer the heads, feet and any extra tongues you might have into the pan. Cover them with water and bring it to boil.

  2. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then drain all the water. I know it’s bloody heavy, but if I can do it with an iron pan, so can you! Don’t worry, it’s well worth the effort. I guarantee the Kaleh Pacheh will restore all the energy you used many times over.

  3. Cover the ingredients with water once more and bring it to boil again. Let it boil for another 5 minutes and drain the water once more.

  4. Alternatively you can leave the ingredients in the boiling water for 15 minutes the first time, so you only have to drain the water once.

  5. Wether you choose to drain the water once or twice, if you see any foam in the pan or on the ingredients after the final drain, simply rinse it and wash it away.

  6. This method ensures that any excess fat and blood in the form of foam are flushed away, which makes for a much cleaner and more appetising Kaleh Pacheh.

  7. Now make sure that the heads are in the bottom of the pan so that the more delicate feet won’t be squashed by them.

Prep the veg

  1. Peel the carrot and onions. When peeling the onionsdon’t cut off the bottom parts, so they don’t fall apart in the cooking process.

  2. Divide one of the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and peel each of them. Only peel the outer layer of the second garlic bulb and leave this one whole. I used one regular garlic bulb and one bulb of fresh garlic. I left the fresh one whole. If you don’t have or want to use fresh garlic, simply use regular one.

  3. Wash all the veg including the celery stalks and spread them out in the pan. They will be removed later.

Cook the Kaleh Pacheh

  1. Add the cinnamon sticks to the pan and fill it with water so that the ingredients are half covered.

  2. Bring the water to boil. If more foam or fat builds on the surface skim it off with a spoon.

  3. Put the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Let the Kaleh Pacheh simmer for 2 hours.

  4. After 2 hours remove the onions, carrot, celery stalks and the whole garlic bulb.

  5. Season with turmeric, black pepper and salt. Turn the sheep heads to make sure they cook evenly.

  6. Put the lid back on and let the Kaleh Pacheh simmer for another 2 hours.

Serve the Kaleh Pacheh

  1. Remove the sheep heads and feet from the pan. Everything is cooked extremely well by now, so you can easily remove the meat, tongue, brain and eyes from the skulls. The eyes are known to be the best part, so keep them for yourself. This is your reward! 

  2. The tongues need to be skinned off. If you hold thm under cool water, the skin should come off easily.

  3. Serve the broth with bread. If you can get your hands on noon sangak it would be perfect but alternatively you can use any other flat bread.

  4. Serve the meat, brain, tongues, eyes and feet with sir torshi (pickled garlic), other torshi (pickles) you like, cinnamon powder, lemon juice and bread.

  5. Make sure to put on a nice can of tea, that you can enjoy with nabaat afterwards.

    Enjoy!

Kaleh Pacheh | Persian Recipe | igotitfrommymaman.com

I hope you enjoyed your Kaleh Pacheh! Let me know how you liked it in the comments or post any questions you might have!

I’d love to see your Kaleh Pacheh! Feel free to tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta so I can take a look and give you a thumbs up!

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Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your meal!

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