Last year one of my mom’s cousins, Nilou, told me that she was going to send me a few of her mother’s recipes for me to post on MPK. A few months back my cousin Cyrus came to the US from Switzerland for visit. He brought along an envelop from his mother and inside of it were copies of his grandmother’s recipes.

So here I was with a few new family recipes written in Farsi and unable to read them because my Farsi is not good enough to read calligraphy.  Since my mom is here now, I have taken the opportunity to have her read them for me. I figured since I have thus far published a good few of my grandmother’s recipes it was time to publish one of Nosrat Joon’s recipes.

Nosrat joon sadly passed away about 6 years ago. I last saw her maybe a year of two before she passed while she was here visiting her son who around MPK is known as Hungry Tiger. For those of you who regularly read my blog, Hungry Tiger is married to the infamous Neda! Today’s post is Nosrat joon’s version of Koofteh Sabzi, a large stuffed meatball from Tabriz.


1lb ground beef
3/4 cup split peas
3/4 cup rice
2 eggs
2 medium onions
2 tbsp zereshk
6 prunes
3 walnuts
3 tbsp dried summer savory
1 tbsp advieh
1 tsp turmeric
salt & pepper

Prep work:

Cook split peas until tender. Cook rice until just tender.  Grate one of the two onions and smile dice the other onion.  Hard boil one of the eggs.

Place cooked split peas in a food processor to mash.

The idea is for the split peas to have a dough consistency.

Do the same thing with the rice.

Combine ground beef, rice, split peas, grated onion, advieh, dried summer savory, one raw egg, salt and pepper.  Mix well together.

Knead the mixture until it turns into a dough consistency. Make sure that you have seasoned the mixture well with salt.

Saute the diced onion in some oil until golden in a large pot.  Take 1/2 cup for stuffing the meatball. Also quickly saute the zereshk in some oil or butter for a few minutes. Toast walnuts for a few minutes.  Then gather all the ingredients along with a bowl lined with a cheese cloth. To make it easier on yourself place a rubber band around the edges of the bowl so that it holds the cheese cloth.

Gently add the majority of the mixture to the bowl leaving behind about one handful of it.

Create a well by pushing the dough towards the wall of the bowl. Place the hardboiled egg in the middle.

Add prunes around the egg. You can use any prunes you like. Also, the pits stay in. Just warn those who you are sharing this meal with about the pits!!!

Add zereshk.

Add walnuts.

Add onion.

Place remaining dough mixture on top and gently press down to seal.

Go around the edges and seal the meatball.

Carefully close shut each corner of the cheese cloth.

I would suggest making a bow so that way it’s easier to open later.

Gently pick up the giant meatball and shape it into a ball.

Gently go around and shape it with your hands into a ball.

Add some turmeric to the pot where the onions were sauteed along with 10 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and place the meatball into the boiling water.

Cook covered for 1 and 1/2 hours.

As it cooks pour some of the liquid over it within the first 20 minutes.

Half way through the cooking process gently and carefully flip the meatball.

Once ready take the meatball out and place it in a deep serving bowl. Remove cheese cloth and ladle the sauce over the meatball.

This is what the Koofteh, meatball, looks like once it’s opened. This is such a delicious meal and it’s perfect on a cold day. The delicious smell of the Kofteh takes over the house as it cooks and flirts with your nose!!!

It’s definitely a good thing that my mom and I made this recipe together as it made it easier for me to photograph when she was handling raw meat. Weeee that would have been an adventure if I was on my own.

Thank you Nilou joon for sharing Nosrat joons recipes with me.