Persian petit meatballs ( Kofteh rizeh Yazdi)

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.

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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.

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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.

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Ingredients

350g minced meat ( half beef/ half lamb)

1 onion, grated

Handful cherry tomatoes

1 egg

3 tbsp freshly chopped chives or coriander

2 tbsp gram flour

½ tsp turmeric

Salt and chilli pepper to taste

Olive oil

 

Method

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.

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Stuffed Meat Balls With Quail Eggs

Meatballs are always popular and favourite dish. Today i made stuffed meat balls with quail eggs and Tahini sauce.
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Ingredients for meat balls

250g ground beef

2 large potatoes

1 egg

2 tomatoes

quial eggs

1 clove of garlic

2 tbs dried parsley

1 tsp dried mint

1 tsp cumin

Bread crumbs

Salt – sweet chili

Butter

 

Ingredients for sauce

2 tbsp Tahini sauce

1 lemon juice

Half of garlic

1 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of water

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Preparation

Preheat the oven on 200 C. Cook quail eggs, peeled and set them aside. Place ground meat in a bowl. Add grated garlic, all spices and dried herbs. Crack the egg and add it to the meat. Mix all ingredients together.

 

Take a portion of mixture in your hand palm, flat it and put one of quail eggs in the center of the meat and give shape to the meat. Roll them in the bread crumbs and coat them. Set all meat balls in the baking tray.Place tray into the oven and let it to cook for 30 minutes.

 

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Meanwhile, cook boil potatoes. Peel them off and cut into small pieces. Melt the butter in a pan and Fry tomatoes. Keep potatoes and tomatoes warm for serving time.

Place tahini sauce in a bowl. Grate garlic and add it to the sauce. Add water, oil and pinch of salt as well. Combine all ingredients together and set it aside.

Place meatballs with potatoes and tomatoes in a plate and pour melted butter top of the meatballs, potatoes and tomatoes and serve with Tahini sauce.

Enjoy ( Nosh-e jan)

 

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