Meatballs, I love you.
I vividly remember the first time I tried Persian-style meatballs (or beef Kofte).
I was in London visiting friends and they suggested we head to their favourite spot for dinner. I’d never had proper, legit Persian food before, so I was beyond stoked. I was blown away. Vibrant, aromatic, fragrant, and completely delicious.
Mix meatball night up at home and give these a try. Your friends and family will love them.
Makes 25 – 30 meatballs
½ cup cooked basmati rice
4 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 pound ground beef
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and crackers black pepper
½ cup pomegranate arils
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Yoghurt
Cooked basmati rice
1. In the base of a food processor, combine the rice, garlic, mint, and ½ the onion, and pulse and the mixture forms a paste.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rice garlic mixture with the beef, lemon zest, and egg, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well until completely combined, then shape into 1 tablespoon-sized meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides (5 – 6 minutes). Gently transfer the meatballs to a plate using a slotted spoon.
3. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet, and add the remaining diced onion. Season with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, 5 – 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the spices and stock, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently place the meatballs back into the skillet and continue simmering for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix. Season with salt to taste. Done.
5. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then top with pomegranate. Serve with your cucumber tomato salad, rice, yoghurt, and pita bread. Delicious. Yes please!