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Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Persian پارسی, Food, Recipes, Kotlet کتلت - Kuku کوکو- Kufteh کوفته | 0 comments

Kufteh Tabrizi-ye Ghadim (Egg Stuffed Tabrizi Meatball)

Kufteh Tabrizi-ye Ghadim (Egg Stuffed Tabrizi Meatball)

I couldn’t tell you the number of times I heard my dad proudly talk about good ol’ days (ghadim nadima) of Azerbaijan, when kadbanoos (good housekeepers) made huge meatballs stuffed with an egg or even a chicken.
A whole chicken? …no thank you. Not in this lifetime.
An egg? I may be up to the challenge. Besides, I got nothing better to do on a gloomy Sunday afternoon.
I rolled up my sleeves, went in the kitchen and came out 2 hours later. Cooking good food takes time, but well worth the effort.
I was so proud of myself, but didn’t have anyone to show off to. Believe me I tried.
This recipe makes for one ginormous, yet fragile meatball. If planning to use left-over rice, keep in mind uncooked rice expands anywhere between 2 to 2.5 times it’s volume, depending on the amount of water used. The same applies to raw legumes.

Ingredients (1 meatball, serves 3-4):

  • 1 lb ground meat (lamb or beef ), lower fat works best
  • 3/4 cup yellow split peas, (preferably soaked in water for at least an hour)
  • 3/4 cup white rice, (preferably soaked in cold water and a bit of salt for at least an hour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 med. onions
  • 6 prunes
  • 6 walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried barberries (zereshk), soaked in water for 5-10 min
  • 3 Tbs dried summer savory
  • 1 Tbs advieh (found in Middle Eastern stores OR make your own)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt & ground pepper
  • oil/butter


  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ground anise, cardamom, crushed edible rose petals
  • 1/4 cumin

Time~    Prep: 1.5 hrs    Cook 1 hr

To save time, you can cook peas and rice simultaneously, but not in the same pot. Complete other prep work while waiting.

  1. Cook yellow split peas in hot water ’till tender (15-20 min). Drain.
  2. Cook rice (~15-20 min).
  3. Hard boil 1 egg (5-6 min).
  4. Grate one onion or process finely in a food processor. Small dice the other.
  5. Saute the diced onion in a pan with enough oil/butter ’till translucent (~5 min). Stir in the turmeric ’till fragrant (~1 min). Set aside.
  6. In a small pan toast the walnuts for a couple of minutes. In the same pan or another add barberries and toast for a minute or two ’till they puff up.
  7. Process the cooked the split peas in a food processor or with an immersion blender to form a dough-like consistency.
  8. Repeat for the cooked rice. If you’re having trouble with the rice or split peas, add more water and cook longer to achieve a smooth texture when grinding.
  9. In a large bowl combine the processed split peas, rice, advieh, salt (~ 1 tbs) and pepper to taste, summer savory, 2 eggs and grated onion. Use a mixer or an immersion blender to mix.
  10. Add the meat and knead well with your hands to form a dough. Don’t over mix.
  11. Gather the rest of the ingredients: barberries (drained), hard boiled egg (shelled), prunes (pitted), toasted walnuts, 1/2 of the sauteed onions.
  12. Line a large bowl with cheese cloth. Gently add the most of the mixture leaving behind about one handful.
  13. With your hand, press the dough against the bowl, making sure it is evenly distributed.douugh
  14.  Place the egg in the middle and arrange the prunes and walnuts around it. Add barberries and the sauteed onions.
  15. Place remaining dough on top and gently press down to seal the edges, making sure to go all the way around.
  16. Tie the opposite corners of the cheese cloth to close in the meatball.kknot
  17. Gently pick and shape into a ball as best as you can.mme


  1. In a med-large pot, pour 4 cups of hot water and the other 1/2 of the sauteed onions. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Gently place the meatball. At least 3/4 of it should be covered with water. If not, add more hot water.
  3. Bring to boil, lower and allow to simmer covered on low heat for at least 1 hr to 1.5 hrs.
  4. Half way through gently flip over the meatball. Leave lid off, if too much liquid.
  5. Once ready take the meatball out and place it in a large bowl or a deep serving dish. Best way to remove the cloth is to cut with kitchen scissors.
  6. Ladle the juice as sauce over the meatball and serve. Slice through the middle.

Iranians eat it with maast (yogurt), sabzi (herb medley).
Don’t worry if yours came apart, the taste is still phenomenon.
There is my starving baby, totally ready to eat.

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