As I rinse the rice, pick apart the feathery dill tips, steam the beans and put the dinner together, I am filled with gratitude and a heartfelt appreciation that I get to make a dish that is as homey as it can get, share it with people that I deeply care about, later put my head down on a pillow in a safe place each night, and send my kids to school in the morning. Isn't this what we all want and every human being deserves? I wish every person a safe home, a loving family, good friends, food on the table, and good health.
1 cup of rice, rinsed, there's no need to soak
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 pound baby Lima beans (fresh or frozen) if frozen, thawed
2 bunches dill, remove the hard stems and discard, wash and finely chop, makes about 2 cups (use less if you prefer)
3 medium-sized onions (grate one onion for the mixture and the other two need to be thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons flour (I used chickpea flour)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
Raisins, chopped walnuts, barberries, fried onions
- Place rice in a medium-size pan, add 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt, cook for ten minutes on medium heat, drain and rinse. Set aside.
- Cook the beans for 5-7 minutes or until soften on medium heat with 2 cups of water and a dash of salt. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine rice, meat, Lima beans, dill, eggs, flour, a grated onion, finely minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly yet gently.
- Take about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture and shape into a ball. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling of your choice in the middle and close. The mixture should make about 18 balls. Set aside.
- In the meantime, in a wide bottom pot, saute sliced onions in oil over medium heat until transparent. Add 1/3 teaspoon turmeric, 3-4 cups of water, bring to a gentle boil and place the kooftehs in the pot one by one. Add more water if needed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for an hour on medium to low heat.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.