Meat Balls Of Tabriz

Meat Balls Of Tabriz

(Kufte Tabrizi)

Tabriz is the capital of Azerbaijan province in northern Persia.

½ pound rice

¼ pound yellow split peas

1 pound ground lamb, veal, or beef

2 onions, grated

¼ teaspoon each turmeric, pepper , and curry or clove

½ teaspoon salt

3 hard-cooked eggs or 6to 9 dried prunes or plums

12 almonds, blanched and chopped

1 large onion, chopped and sautéed in butter until lightly browned.

Cook the rice according to directions for chelou and rinse.


Cook peas until very tender, then mash. Grind the meat twice through finest blade of a meat grinder. Combine the rice ,peas, meat, grated onion, spices, and salt and knead the mixture into a  dough. Wet a clean cloth and spread it in a small round bowl, approximately 6 inches in diameter, which will serve as a mold.

Fill the bowl half full of dough. In the center place either a hard- cooked egg or 3 prunes or plums, and sprinkle with a little chopped almonds and 1 teaspoon of the sautéed onion. Cover the ingredients with more of the meat dough and shape the whole into a medium-sized ball. Make two more balls in the same manner, using remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil 3quarters of water, filling to the top a sauce- pan large enough to hold the three meat balls. Add remaining sautéed onion and carefully lower the meat balls into the boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until well done. Remove meat balls to a serving dish and either pour the broth over them or serve it separately.

If desired, 2 cups lemon or pomegranate juice may be substituted for part of the water used to cook the balls .  Also cooked chicken meat ,mixed with fruit and nuts ,may be used in the center of the meat balls in place of eggs.