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.
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
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Let the
- Place a frying pan over medium heat and pour 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pan.
- 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.
- Drain on paper towel.