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Kofte were first made in Imperial Persia from ground lamb and their name probably derives from the old Persian word koofteh. Now common from Spain to India due to the migration of recipes along the old trade routes. This recipe is modified for a western kitchen with the original recipe coming from the Northern Iran/Azerbaijan region.
- 2 lbs ground beef or 2 lbs ground lamb
- 3 medium onions, grated processed to mush
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 strands saffron
- 6 ounces yellow split peas, cooked and mashed
- 1 raw egg
- 1 (2 ounce) package onion soup mix (use all envelopes)
- 3 hardboiled egg (shelled)
- 6 soft dried prunes
- 4 ounces almonds, slivered blanched
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Stir salt, lemon juice, turmeric, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and saffron into the onion mush. Mix onions, peas and meat. After meat has absorbed the onion mixture, add one raw egg and mix until well combined.
- Form into 3 large meatballs. Make a hollow in the center of each meatball and add one hard boiled egg, 2 prunes and 1/3 of the nuts. Cover over the hollow so the filling is entirely surrounded by the meat mixture.
- Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Open package of onion soup mix and scatter across baking dish. Turn meatballs upside down and place in baking dish. Add enough water to go 2/3 of the way up the dish. Bake for 45 minutes.