Kotlet: Iranian Ground Meat Patties #2


Kotlet is a super simple and super delicious Iranian ground meat patty. I can easily say that I grew up on kotlet. This was one of my mother's specialties and signature dishes that was made in the shape and as large as the palms of her hands. They were soft and tender inside and golden brown and crispy on the outside.

On one of our summer travels en route to Tehran, we visited one of my father's acquaintances in a nearby town. The host insisted we stay for lunch and greeted us with great hospitality and warmth. They served a great meal but the kotlet was so dry and hard that to this day I remember how hard it was to chew. They kept insisting that we should eat more and clean our plates and to that one of my outspoken brothers, then eleven years old, said "well this kotlet looks like a shoe and tastes like a shoe!" I saw both my parents turn red and we had to hear a long lecture afterward about how we should thank people for their efforts in making the food and always show our gratitude and appreciation for what they've done by saying, "dastet dard nakoneh" which literally means (may your hands not hurt)!


Margaret Shaida, the author of The Legendary Cuisine of Persia, writes in her book that, "the Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution brought these meat patties to the Caspian province and Tehran in the early part of this century." Since then kotlet has become a common and popular meal in Iranian cuisine. I had posted a kotlet recipe before but this is a simpler and quicker version of it.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 large potato, boil in the water, cool competently, grate
1 large onion, grated
2-3 large eggs
1 tablespoon chickpea flour *optional
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Let the 
  2. Place a frying pan over medium heat and pour  2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pan.
  3. Take a handful of the meat mixture, shape into a ball, flatten into an oval or a round shape and fry till brown on both sides. If needed add more oil.
  4. Drain on paper towel.
Serve warm or cold with herbs, sliced tomatoes, onions, pickles and warm bread.

Enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. Azita joon, i *LOVE* it tee hee hee- that is such a darling and hilarious story! keep them coming. it makes your blog so real. and i love the kotlet you've posted here. my husb and i are on a vegetarian diet this week after having lots of meat while visiting my fam over easter break. craving this kotlet! x shayma

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  2. We ate lots of ground meat patties very similar to these growing up in Ukraine, I love them! The addition of turmeric is terrific!

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  3. Azita

    This reminds me of some kotlet I had at my Persian friend's place a few years ago his mom fixed them with yellow split peas I think and they were so so good! I am surprised you keep the potato raw; does it have time to cook?

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  4. I have had this before and i love them! I can't wait to try this recipe and go on a picnic!

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  5. oh looks yummy, and very interesting info

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  6. Hi there,
    can you tell me what you mean by grind? Put in food processsor, grate or shred?
    Also, do you use the juice given off by the onion?
    Thanks!

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  7. I love how blunt your brother was! Very cute.

    I bet the chickpea flour gave these an awesome flavor. Mmmm.

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  8. Anonymous: Hi, thank you for stopping by and your questions. This recipe calls for a grated onion and a potato using a food processor or a metal grater. There's no need to discard the juice for this recipe. It gives it the intense onion flavor, you may discard the juice if you prefer.

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  9. Almost similar with snack in my country :) And this is my favorite too..

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  10. Taste of Beirut: I use one grated potato for this recipe and I blend it well with meat, onion and spices, it seems to cook well in hot oil. Give it a try!

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  11. Your story about your brother saying that it looks and tastes like a shoe cracked me up!!! :)

    This recipe is bookmarked and I am planning on making it soon :)

    By the way I tried your dopiazeh recipe and it turned out so good!! :)

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  12. Oh! We love Persian food, but never had this one...from the sound of the ingredients and the pictures I am sure that must taste great...yummie!

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  13. I made them last night and they were delish! I'm going to mention you in my blog btw. Your recipe must be shared! i am addicted!

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  14. My aunt calls those shami (shamee).

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  15. Salam,

    My husband was looking for this recipe for a long time. He also grew up on this kotlet in Tehran. We are making it today. Thank you so much, we are really enjoying your blog :)

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  16. This sound like shamy not kotlet

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  17. I grew up in Tehran - love kotlets. My mom used to make them when she didn't fee like cooking a khoresht. So I always used to think that kotlets are easy to make.
    So of all the recipes I've tried here, I never thought I'd mess up the kotlets. I don't know what I did wrong, but they kept falling apart in the pan. I ended up with a pile of fried beef and potatoes. :) Luckily it did taste like the kotlets I remember, and I ate it all. I've got to work on the consistency though.

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    Replies
    1. Hashem, if the kotlet mixture seems too wet, you can add in 1- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs.

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  18. What's the difference between kotlet and shami?

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    Replies
    1. Shami is made of ground meat and ground chickpeas or yellow split peas and kotlet is made of ground meat and potatoes.

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  19. The potato boils for how long?

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    Replies
    1. Donna, you cook the potatoes until they are fork tender about 30 minutes.

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