After making Gondi, Persian dumplings, I had extra roasted chickpea flour and used it to make these savoury meatballs in tomato sauce. This recipe is based on the Hebrew food blog, Where is my Home, dedicated to preserving Persian food and culture. Serve with fried potatoes and mounds of unchopped fresh herbs such as green onions, flat leaf parsely and coriander. These herbs are usually eaten with the hands and accompany many Persian meals. My grandmother, who comes from an Iraqi town close to the Iranian border also serves up herbs in this way.
600 grams ground beef
1/2 cup ground chickpea flour
1 onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
5-6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
Olive or vegetable oil, lamb fat if you would like to add flavor
50 grams tomato paste, optional
Salt and pepper
Combine the ingredients for the meatballs and knead well. Form about 16 meatballs and brown in a cast iron pan. It is possible to fry them in oil but a well seasoned iron pan browns the meat without adding extra oil. The meatballs don’t need to be fully cooked at this point, just browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, fry the onions in a bit of oil or fat until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften and the sauce begins to thicken (about 35 minutes). Add tomato paste if the tomatoes used are more pink than red. Mix to combine. When the sauce is simmering add the meatballs one at a time. Cover the pot and let cook for about 30 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with fried potatoes and herbs.