Persian Meatballs









  • ¬†1 pound (organic grass fed) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup rice, cooked (or not cooked, according to mom)
  • 1/4 cup split peas cooked well (or substitute 2-3 tbs chick pea flour, per mom’s recipe)
  • 1 large bunch fresh summer savory leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch tarragon leaves or flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 8-10 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbs turmeric
  • 1 large onion, fried (piaz dagh)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • vegetable oil (for frying the onions)
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp sour grapes (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground saffron or a few strands seeped in 2 tbs hot water


  • 1. combine beef, cooked rice, split peas (or preferably chick pea flour) salt & pepper, chopped herbs, green onions, 1 tbs turmeric, and eggs in a deep bowl. mix this really well, pressing down on the mixture as you combine and almost “beat” it for a few minutes.
  • 2. start making the meat balls (just larger than a golf ball) by rolling portions of the mixture between your hands.
  • 3. make a hole in the middle of the meatballs with your finger and insert some fried onion (piaz dagh), a dash of cinnamon, and even optionally some chopped walnuts or chopped cooked eggs. close up the hole and roll again in to a nice tight ball.
  • 4. when you have all the meatballs ready, add about 1.5-2 cups of water to a pot (not too deep), about 2 tbs fried onions, 1 tbs turmeric, sea salt, pepper, a few sprigs of the herbs, and the sour grapes.
  • 5. bring to a boil, then carefully place the meatballs in the pan and let them simmer for five minutes on one side. ¬†turn, sprinkle or drizzle with the saffron, partially cover with a lid and let simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. enjoy!


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