June 24, 2011

Persian Koofteh Berenji - Rice Kufta (Guest Post)

I am very pleased and honored to be sharing one of my favorite recipes with Heidi Noroozy and her co-authors of the wonderful  Novel Adventurers blog. کوفته برنجی Koofteh berenji (rice meatballs) is a one-meal dish made with rice, meat, yellow split peas and finely chopped fresh herbs shaped into balls and simmered in fried onion and tomato sauce.  Please head on over for my Koofteh Berenji recipe along with a tribute to my maternal grandmother.


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
3 eggs
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

  1. 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.
  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 there's any liquid left, drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rice, peas, ground meat, chopped vegetables, chickpea flour, turmeric, saffron, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.



  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.