Koofteh Berenji - Rice Kufta
Makes about 15 Koofteh
1 1/2 cups rice
2/3 cup yellow split peas
1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped (1 cup packed)
1 bunch fresh dill, washed and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh chives or scallions (green parts only), washed and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh tarragon, washed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste *optional
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Filling:
Barberries, raisins, fried onion, walnuts
- In a large pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil on medium heat, add in the rice and 2 tablespoons of salt and boil for about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Place yellow split peas and 4 cups of water in a medium-sized pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat. If there's any liquid left, drain and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice, peas, ground meat, chopped vegetables, chickpea flour, turmeric, saffron, salt and pepper to taste.
- In a small bowl whisk the eggs and then blend in well together with the rest of the ingredients. Take a handful or 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape into a ball. You make a hole in the middle and stuff some barberries, raisins, walnuts and fried onions inside.
- In a large pot, saute sliced onions in a 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium. When transparent, add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and minced garlic, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stir well.
- Pour 5 cups of water into the pot, bring to a gentle boil and one by one place each koofteh into the pot, cook for about 50-60 minutes on medium-low heat. Do not cover the pot completely. You may place a colander upside down over the top. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add more water if necessary.
Serve in a deep platter with yogurt, pickles, sabzi khordan (fresh herbs) and bread.