I will admit that this was a novice attempt at a Persian meatball (Koufteh) recipe, so I will amend the ingredients as I go along. That way, it can be counted as a second attempt at Koufteh, should you wish to make this dish at home. A great selling feature of this dish, along with its high nutrient content (get ready for some serious fresh herb antioxidant action) and one-stop-shop meal balance (i.e. carbs, protein, and vegetables all delivered in one compact, little ball) is its superior taste as a leftover. This means you can batch cook the dish and enjoy it even more a day or two later, or make it ahead of time for a casual get-together. So, roll up your sleeves, flex your muscles and get kneading!
1 cup brown rice, rinsed at least 5 times (to remove debris and chemicals like arsenic)
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, diced (I should have sliced it thinly instead, because it would have caramelized better)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/2 cup dried)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried)
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1/2 cup dried)
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried)
*Note about herbs: because I used fresh herbs for this recipe, I cannot vouch for the flavour outcome of using the equivalent in proportion of dried herbs, so you may need to adjust amounts based on your own judgment
1 tsp each curry powder, ground cumin, and turmeric
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (I can’t believe I am saying this, but the dish needed more salt, so you might want to go up to 1 tsp)
1 cup (100 grams) chickpea flour
1 lb ground bison (or any other ground meat of your preference)
2 eggs, beaten
5 cups water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1) Cook rice in 2 cups water and 1 tsp salt. This will take about 45 minutes with brown rice. Set aside to cool.
2) Sautee onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil until caramelized (apparently, per my test kitchen’s feedback, I did not saute the onion long enough for this process to occur, so I lost a bit of flavour there)
3) In a large bowl, combine all fresh chopped herbs (I suggest using a food processor or herb chopper to save significant amounts of time)
4) In another bowl, combine chickpea flour and seasonings, then add to fresh herb mixture in the larger bowl
5) Add bison and eggs to above mixture and knead with great gusto for 10 minutes (I wimped out after 5 minutes, which resulted in a softer, mushier koufteh)
6) With an ice cream scoop, form even-sized kouftehs and place on a baking sheet as shown below:
7) In a large soup pot, bring 5 cups water with onion/garlic mixture, bay leaf and apple cider vinegar to a boil.
8) Carefully, add one koufteh at a time to the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot partially to let steam escape. Cook koufteh for 45 minutes in this manner.
9) Cover pot with a lid completely and cook koufteh for another 10 minutes.
10) Serve koufteh with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a side of grilled zucchini or cooked spinach and yogurt (borani). Noosheh Jaan!