In Iranian cooking ‘ Kofteh’ or ‘ Kofta’ is a kind of meat ball. Kofteh means pounded meat in Persian language. Meat ball or Kofta is made from ground meat such as: mutton, beef, lamb and chicken, along with aromatic fresh or dried herbs, nuts, fruits and eggs.
Kofteh is usually shaped into balls and round but sometimes kofteh is in cigar-shape too. Kofteh , kupta, kofta, kufta …. are in different sizes from giant ones to medium and petit kofteh.
Some of cities in Iran are well known for their Kofta recipes. Tabriz an ancient city in NW of Iran is known for having Giant Kofteh Tabrizi recipe, that is one of the most famous and popular kofteh in Iran. This dish includes a giant meat ball made from meat, rice, yellow split peas, aromatic herbs and spices.
Kofteh Isphahani, kofteh Shirazi, Kofteh Kermanshahi, Kofteh Yazdi, are other type of Persian meatballs from different areas in Iran.
Kofteh sometimes is stuffed with nuts, eggs or fruits and sometimes are normal kofta.
Petit kofteh might be served with Persian flat bread or with rice, pickles, yogurt and salad.
Today I made Yazdi Kofteh rizeh ( petit kofteh), that takes its name after the Yazd an ancient city in central Iran. Yazd is an ancient city in Iran and is recognised as a world Heritage site by UNESCO. Yazd is well known for its special architecture that its nickname is ‘ wind catcher’ or ‘ Badgir’. Also this city is well known for having its Zoroastrian ancient fire temple, Qantas (under ground water channels to transport water from water well to surface for irrigation and drinking) and Yakhchal ( yakh meaning ice and chaal meaning pit) is an ancient type of evaporative cooler, it used to create ice in the winter and store it in the summer time.
350g minced meat ( half beef/ half lamb)
1 onion, grated
Handful cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp freshly chopped chives or coriander
2 tbsp gram flour
½ tsp turmeric
Salt and chilli pepper to taste
Peel the onion and grate it. Extract juice from grated onion . Add all ingredients to grated onion. Mix well until combine together.
Shape the meat mixture into little balls, the size of a walnut. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add meat balls . Cook until brown. Then add ¼ cup water and cherry tomatoes to the meat balls and let the cook for 10 minutes with the lid partially covering the pan.
I served meat balls with steamed rice-potato but as I mentioned it might be served with flat bread and salad, yogurt and pickles on the side.