This recipe is one of Azerbaijani kufteh/kofte or meatballs. Usually people know about Italian or Swedish meatballs but they know less about Persian and Azerbaijani kufte or meatballs. Sometimes kufte or meatballs are stuffed with cooked egg and dried fruits and nuts and sometime they are plain meatballs without any filling. The word kufteh is derived from Persian word ‘ Kuftan’ which literally mean ( to pound). Main ingredient for making kufteh is meat: beef/ lamb or combination of both. Other ingredient is aromatic herbs, which could be dried or fresh chopped. Herbs such as mint, basil, tarragon.
Each meatball depends on its size (because some meatballs are giant and could be stuffed with cooked egg and dried fruits ) or simply stuffed with dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, dates and Barberry.
200 g ground beef
½ cup cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup cooked rice
2 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves or dried herbs
Salt – pepper to taste
4-5 dried prunes and apricots, finely chopped
Ingredients for broth
2 tbsp butter
4-5 baby potatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt – pepper
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp plain flour
Pour cooked chickpeas in a blender and make it into a paste. Mix ground meat with chopped herbs, spices, and rice and paste chickpeas and combine very well. Then take small portion of meat mixture and, place ½ tbsp. chopped dried fruits in centre of meatball and Shape into a medium (apple size) meatball. If mixture is sticky, you could wet your hand and carry on with giving shape to the meat. Set aside meatballs and prepare broth.
For making broth, Melt the butter in a pot, add chopped onion and spices. Saute until softened. Pour 700 ml water, 2 tbsp plain flour and mix well. Bring it to boil. Add potatoes and gently add meatballs one by one to the pot and let it cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes.
Once kufteh is ready, serve it with broth, kufteh and potatoes.