Koofteh or Persian meatball is one of the popular food in Iran. There are many different type of Koofteh but the common ingredient in all of them is ground beef. The most famous Koofteh in Iran is Koofteh Tabrizi.
Koofteh Tabrizi is huge meatballs with around 400-g weight each and there are different type of stuffing that you can put in middle of them such as whole hard boiled egg, nuts, dried fruits and/or fried onion.
My grandma and my mother used to make all different types of Koofteh when I was a kid and this recipe is my favorite one. It's definitely not the Koofteh Tabrizi but I used the same stuffings (well, because I love the combination of nuts and dried fruits!).
The sauce has been made with very simple ingredients yet its absolutely reach and flavorful. It's a great recipe for cold and rainy nights and it will definitely warm your soul.
There are many different sides that you can serve Koofteh with such as fresh herbs, Shirazi salad, yogurt (ماست) or pickles (ترشی). My favorite one is yogurt or even better Mast-o Moosir.
Don't forget Lavash, Barbari or Sangak bread (your choice). But if you live far from Iranian grocery store like me, Pita can be a great substitute.
For garnish you can use barberries (زرشک). Just heat 2-3 tablespoon of barberries in a sauce pan with 1 teaspoon butter for 1 minutes and sprinkle them with fresh dill and mints on top of the Koofteh.
I weighted my Koofteh to around 80g each and with the stuffing they got up to 90g.
This recipe will give you 7 Koofteh and it will be enough for 2-3 persons.
Ingredients For Koofteh:
500g ground beef
1 medium onion
2 garlic minced
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoon hot water
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoon barberries
-Grate the onion and press it till the excess water comes out.
-In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for Koofteh.
-Knead the mixture with hand for about 3 minutes until everything mixed together.
-Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
-In a small bowl put the dried apricot and halves walnuts. Cover them with water and let it sit in room temperature.
-After 1 hour take the mixture out of the fridge.
-Divide the mixture evenly into 7 balls (around 80g each).
-Put 1 walnut halves and a half of apricot in the middle of each meatball and roll them.
-In a deep medium pot heat up the oil.
-Add the thinly sliced onion and saute till they get soft.
-Add the tomato paste and cook it for 1 minute.
-Add the beef broth and bring it to boil.
-Turn down the heat to simmer and carefully put meatballs in to the pot. The sauce has to be up 3/4 hight of the meatballs.
-Cover and let it cook for about 30-40 minutes.
-Half way through the cooking add the saffron and taste to add salt and pepper if necessary.
-Garnish it with barberries and fresh herbs.
-Serve it with fresh bread and your choice of side.