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 - 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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice, peas, ground meat, onion, chopped vegetables, chickpea flour, turmeric, saffron, salt, and pepper to taste.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.