Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
It is a rather unusual combination for Western cuisine, I suppose, to throw meatballs in a yogurt broth, but it works rather wonderfully in this recipe! The meatballs are superbly and temptingly spiced, while the rich, lemony yogurt-and-rice broth provide a contrasting coolness. The resulting flavor palette is both exotic and diverse, and the meal is hearty, filling, and substantial.
I have adapted this recipe from Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories, by Naz Deravian.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 5 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup rice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 teaspoons salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dill
- 2 ounces fresh mint
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried allspice
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- olive oil
- Begin making the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the meat, 1/2 onion (peeled and very finely chopped), and finely chopped garlic, turmeric, basil cumin, cinnamon, oregano, dill, fresh mint, tarragon, pepper to taste, allspice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
- Shape the meat mixture into small balls on a baking sheet. There should be around 40. Drizzle them with olive oil, then bake in an oven preheated to 425 F degrees for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine together the flour with an equal quantity of water and stir together in a small bowl. In a large casserole, combine together the yogurt with 4 cups of water, then add in the flour-water mixture. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil while stirring constantly in one direction. Then add in the onion after 10 minutes, boil for 5 minutes longer, then reduce heat to medium and add in the rice and butter, continuing to stir.
- Cook for 10 minutes longer, then add in the remaining 3 teaspoons salt, pepper to taste, cilantro, and meatballs. Simmer for a final 20 minutes, with continued stirring intermittently, then serve.
© 2019 Ryan Thomas
Liz Westwood from UK on June 13, 2019:
This looks like an interesting recipe. The step by step illustrations are very helpful.