One of the Persian dishes we enjoy greatly at our home is a rice - meatball dish called "Kufteh". Rice and ground beef are mixed with split peas and wonderful aromatic spices and all is slowly cooked in a tomato sauce until all flavors blend. Yum - I am getting hungry just thinking about "Kufteh". Anyhow, here is the recipe, which I hope you will try out.
Here is the Kufteh (Persian Meat Balls) recipes. Again there are many different variations of this dish and although it is traditionally made with ground beef, Pari used Turkey meat as a healthier alternative. Kufteh in Farsi means pounded and since the meat is pounded into the rice, thus the name. I love this dish, simply because it is so different.
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup white rice
1/2 cup yellow split peas cooked
1 medium-size onion chopped
3 garlic cloves finely minced
1 bunch parsley, cleaned and finely chopped
1 bunch coriander leaves cleaned and finely chopped
(Asian and Middle Eastern Market sell it) Farsi geshniz [ گشنیز]
1 bunch fresh basil cleaned and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh tarragon cleaned and finely chopped
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the rice several times in warm water until water drains clear.
2. Cook rice (see Persian rice recipes )- do not overcook!
3. In a separate small pot cook the split peas in water until soft
4. Once all the ingredients above are cooked combine them with the turkey in a separate large bowl.
5. In a wide pot (kufteh need to fit in it) sautee the onions and garlic in oil until golden brown
6. Add 1 cup of water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and bring to a quick boil
7. Reduce heat
8. Go back to your meat/rice mix and add parsley, coriander, basil and tarragon and season with turmeric, salt, and pepper.
9. Mix and pound the mixture until you can form small, fist-size balls with the mix, without it falling apart.
10. Place each meatball in the tomato sauce, add more water until the meatballs are covered and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes
As I mentioned before there are many variations as to the fillings for the Persian meatballs. I found this video for you that shows you the basic idea of how the meatballs are made