June 24, 2011

Persian Koofteh Berenji - Rice Kufta (Guest Post)

Koofteh Berenji

 کوفته برنجی Koofteh berenji (rice meatballs) made with rice, beef, yellow split peas, finely chopped fresh herbs and stuffed with chopped walnuts and prunes, simmered in a simple and tasty tomato sauce is a flavorful main dish.

Koofteh Berenji

Koofteh Berenji - Rice Kufta

Makes about 10 Koofteh

1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
1 cup rice
1 cup yellow split peas
2 large onions, one grated and one onion thinly slices
1 egg
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped (1 cup packed)
1 bunch of fresh dill, washed and finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh chives or scallions (green parts only), washed and finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh tarragon, washed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
1 1/2  teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil/ vegetable oil

For the Filling:

Barberries, prunes, fried onion, walnuts

  1. wash the rice a couple of times. . Drain. In a medium-sized pot, mix the rice, 2 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  2. 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 the liquid is left, drain and set it aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rice, peas, ground meat, onion, chopped vegetables, chickpea flour, turmeric, saffron, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and blend in well with the rest of the ingredients. Take a handful or 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape it into a ball. You make a hole in the middle and stuff some barberries, raisins, walnuts, and fried onions inside.
  5. In a large pot, saute sliced onions in 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When transparent, add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stir well.
  6. Pour 5 cups of water into the pot, bring to a gentle boil, and one by one place each koofteh into the pot, and 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 warm with mast o khiar, pickles, sabzi khordan (fresh herbs), and bread.



  1. You are making me very, very hungry!

  2. I had a look at the recipe, never seen anything like this. Split pea, meat etc all in one. I would love to try this.

  3. Yummy! They look gorgeous. One of my favorite meals and I could never make them myself because of the precision it needs. Trying your recipe.:-) Thanks for sharing.

  4. We are so excited to have you blog with us today on Novel Adventurers, Azita! Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe, mouth-watering photos and lovely tribute to your grandmother.

  5. I quickly browsed your entire blog and looked at each food photo. Made me appreciate the Persian dishes. Makes me sooo hungry. I love spices. I often dream of going to Marrakech because of spices. I also love kebabs and rice dishes from the middle eastern country. That's why I love your blog after browsing it thoroughly. Would love to visit it more often :)

  6. Joanie, thank you so much! I am glad that you appreciate Persian food and I hope you will visit my blog often.

    Best wishes,


  7. I'm so excited to have found your blog! Love your blog title. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. Leticia, thanks so much for your kind words and for visiting my blog.

    Best wishes,

  9. I was so excited when I found your blog! I am half Persian and have always struggled getting recipes from the family. They all seem to have recipes stored in their heads only! I recently made your Khoresh Ghaymeh and it's exactly like home! I'm making the Koofteh as we speak. Definitely looking forward to trying it out!

  10. Thanks so much, Nicole! I'm so glad to hear that you find my blog useful.


  11. Yummy koftas! I loved the authentic collection of your recipes! Would love to try this one out.

  12. Azita, thank you soooo much for your blog!
    My father and I already tried many of your recepies and we love them! Today we had Khoofte Berenji and it turned out perfectly as all of your recepies!
    Best regards from Germany

    1. Thank you Mahsa joon for visiting my blog and trying my recipes! I'm so glad you and your father like my recipes. Thanks again xx

  13. Azita Jon you ROCK with all these wonderful recipes that you are sharing with all your followers. Thank you so much and Life Bless.