Koofteh or Herby Meatballs
Koofteh or persian meatballs will vary depending where you are in Iran. I haven’t made koofteh for years and had almost forgotten how to make them and how they tasted.
It was such a wet and miserable summer afternoon here in the UK yesterday and in a creative mood, I thought I would cook something to warm us up. So this is my version on a theme. This recipe is my own as it doesn’t strictly follow any of the other recipes I have and it doesn’t have a name as such… any ideas will be gratefully received :)
- 350 gr’s of mince lamb or beef.
- 2 onions finely grated
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup of yellow split peas
- 1 and 1/2 cup of herbs fresh or dried ( equal parts of parsley, tarragon, chives and coriander) You can really use any herbs but DO use tarragon. If you’re using dried herbs, soak for 20 mins.
- 1 heaped tsp of advieh
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- salt to taste
- a generous grind of the pepper mill
- 1 small egg beaten
* Variations~ Add cooked rice to the meat balls or dates and add zereshk to the sauce.
For the sauce~
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of saffron and add 1 cup water
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of lime juice.
- 1/2 cup of remaining herbs
- Cook the split yellow peas for about 20 mins, removing the scum that forms on the top. Drain but retain the water and put to one side.
- If you’re using dried herbs, soak in warm water for about 20-30 mins. Then squeeze out the water and place the herbs to one side.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic. For adding to the meat I usually whizz them up.
- Add the onions and garlic to your minced meat, with turmeric, advieh, salt and pepper
- Now thoroughly mix these together. I use a potato masher as it easier than trying to stir the ingredients together.
- Add the 2/3 of the split yellow peas and 1 cup of the herbs and gently turn over with a wooden spoon.
- Finally add enough of the beaten egg to bind the whole mixture together.
- Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat.
- Taking a handful, roll into balls and coat in seasoned flour ( I use a wheat free flour but you can use wheat flour). You can make the meat balls any size you prefer I like mine about the size of a ping pong ball.
- Place the meat balls into the pan and cook until golden.
- Once golden, remove from the pan and leave on kitchen towel to soak off excess oil.
For the sauce ~
- Cook the onions and garlic in a little vegetable oil until golden.
- Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric, salt and pepper and 1 tsp of advieh.
- Taste the sauce and make any adjustments you want to make.
- Add the split pea water retained earlier
- Add the liquid saffron, the rest of the herbs and split yellow peas and then finally add the meat balls in gently.
- Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 30-40 mins.
Serve with rice or bread, natural yoghurt and a dish of herbs.
Nooshi joonet ~ enjoy