Koofteh or Herby Meatballs


~~Koofteh~~

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 :)

Ingredients~

  • 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

Method~

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Finely chop the onions and garlic. For adding to the meat I usually whizz them up.
  4. Add the onions and garlic  to your minced meat, with turmeric, advieh, salt and pepper
  5. Now thoroughly mix these together. I use a potato masher as it easier than trying to stir the ingredients together.
  6. Add the 2/3 of the split yellow peas and 1 cup of the herbs and gently turn over with a wooden spoon.
  7. Finally add enough of the beaten egg to bind the whole mixture together.
  8. Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat.
  9. 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.
  10. Place the meat balls into the pan and cook until golden.
  11. Once golden, remove from the pan and leave on kitchen towel to soak off  excess oil.

For the sauce ~

  1. Cook the onions and garlic in a little vegetable oil until golden.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric, salt and pepper and 1 tsp of advieh.
  3. Taste the sauce and make any adjustments you want to make.
  4. Add the split pea water retained earlier
  5. Add the liquid saffron, the rest of the herbs and split yellow peas and then finally add the meat balls in gently.
  6. 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

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