Friday, April 15, 2011

Koofteh Tabrizi, Tabrizi Meatball

Is there a smell of any food that always brings back a nostalgic memory?
I would say yes!  Koofteh is  one of the dearest dishes to me ,  not because of the  delicious smell but it  reminds me of delightful  memories of the past and my Mom,  My Mom used to cook it in the  most of family gatherings and parties on special occasions like Eid days.
The following recipe of a joyful and edible   Koofteh is one of those dishes, nobody in the family or relatives could compete with her appetizing foods, especially with her aromatic flavorful Koofteh Tabrizi, So  here I am sharing  the memory of My mother’s tasty hands which can’t be replaced  by no one for me!
500 gr meat (lamb or beef…I prefer to use half lamb and half beef)
¾ cup split peas
¾ cup rice ( short grain rice is better)
2 eggs or one large egg
4 large onions
1/2 cup  chopped Persian leek
1/3 cup chopped parsley 
1/3 cup chopped cilantro 
1 table spoon dried summer savory  leaves  (marzeh in Farsi)
16  dried prunes
200 gr dried sour cherries ( or barberries)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons turmeric
1 tea spoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
spoonful of flour or chickpeas flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 kg tomato
1 or 2 green chilies it depends on your taste, and if you like hot sauce 
1/4 cup verjuice  ...verjuice or Abghooreh  is unripe grape juice  which is sour

Soak  split peas 2 hours a head 
Cook split peas until tender, scoop out the foam formed on the surface,( I prefer to drain them after bringing the water to a boil )
Cook rice until just tender  ( add  1/2 tea spoon  of turmeric to it )

Cook Rice until  just tender ( add 1/2 tea spoon of turmeric)

meanwhile prepare the sauce in a large pot.
saute 2 diced onions in 2 table spoons oil until golden, dice or process tomatoes in food processor, add them to fried onions, add one or 2 green chillies if you like hot sauce,  fry it for 10 minutes over a medium heat,  stir it occasionally, add 1 tsp turmeric,.....

 Then Add enough water like 3 or 4 glasses and 1/4 cup verjuice or Abghooreh, simmer over the low heat

process cooked split peas in the food processor to mash,  do the same thing with the rice , combine ground meat, mashed rice and  split peas,1 tea spoon of turmeric,1/4 tea spoon chili powder, grate 2 onions or you can   process onions in food processor or you can mince  onions, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 table spoons savory/Marzeh, 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley, 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro and 1/2 cup finely chopped Persian leek,
Add eggs or a large egg and flour may be one or 2  table spoons but you may even need more , Kneed the mixture until to get a  dough consistency,

place a handful of the mixture in your palm  and make a well, place prunes and dried sour cherries or whatever stuffing you like, My mom used to stuff koofteh with hard boiled eggs, walnuts and fried onions and other things, so you can add other stuffing ingredients of your own choice,

If you use complete prunes not  pitted ones, warn the others about the pits to save their teeth otherwise you will need to pay for their dental  expenses!!!!

then go around the edges and seal the meat ball, I make them as size as a large fist, Play with the meat ball to shape a round ball.
you can use cloth something like cheese cloth if you want to make a perfect  gigantic meat ball!

add more water to the simmering tomato sauce season with a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, add the meat balls to the boiling sauce, cover  and simmer for an hour or until cooked,

after an hour or so your food is ready, it seems like a mission impossible but no  I know that it s possible! 

Enjoy your meal!

TIP: turkey meat  can be used as  alternative for the red meat used in this dish, 


  1. I have been following your page for quite some time and also made few dishes, always wanted to make this one too but was never sure if i would be able to find all the ingredients from market but after doing some initial research I think I can by leaving out some ingredients that maybe hard to find.

    Thank you so very very much for sharing beautiful and delicious dishes. Was deeply touched by your loving memories of your dear dear Mom.

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