Koofteh Rizeh (Koofteh Ghelgheli, Persian Meatballs, Stuffed kofteh, کوفته ریزه ) is a kind of small meatballs that are made in Persian cuisine. Koofteh is the Persian term for meatballs, and Rizeh is a Farsi word for tiny and little. Therefore the food tells us that it is a dish of small meatballs. It is not precisely clear where and when this food was originated. This food usually is used as side food with other dishes. Many people use it to replace the cubed meat. It is made with ground meat(beef or lamb) and onions. You can make almost all of the Persian stews with these little meatballs instead of cubed stew meats. These Persian meatballs can be served singularly as finger food or mixed with some vegetables and as a main dish. It is not an official food, and it is somehow impossible to find this food at a restaurant. However, it is very delicious food with a straight forward recipe and yet wonderful flavour.
Different types of Koofteh Rizeh:
They may call it with different names in different regions of Iran; Koofteh Rizeh, Rizeh Koofteh (mostly in Azerbaijan provinces), Koofteh Ghelgheli, etc. they make all of them with ground lamb or beef mixed with onions. However, you may experience different tastes because the ingredients can defer from part to part and recipe to recipe. For example, one might add chopped herbs, one might add eggs, and one might spice it up. Moreover, it is possible to make it with ground chicken, though it is not common. ُThis food has only one type, which is made with ground beef or lamb.
Important Nutrition Facts:
Koofteh Rizeh has about 196 kcal energy per 100gr. It has almost no carbohydrates included. But it is an excellent source of protein with 33.4gr protein per 100gr. Moreover, it has about 7gr fat in each 100gr. It contains almost every vitamin, most notably vitamin E with 2.6 mg per 100gr. Koofteh Rizeh also contains all the varieties of vitamin B. furthermore; it has about 304 mg potassium, 115mg phosphor, and 32 mg calcium per 100gr. This Persian meatballs also includes many other essential minerals needed for the body. It is a food that you can make with a handful of ingredients, but it is rich in nutrition.
This food is small meatballs marinated in a sauce and sometimes served with some side dishes. Unfortunately, the main ingredient of this food is meat, and somehow it is impossible to replace it with a vegan source and expect a delicious taste. Therefore, if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you’d better not mind eating this meatball. However, if someone hosts you with a dish of Koofteh Ghelgheli, you can enjoy the vegetables are served next to it.
Iranians serve Koofteh Rizeh with some vegetables such as potatoes or carrots for the main course. It is also an excellent choice for finger food as a brunch or an evening meal. Always some pieces of bread are served with this food. In Iran, they mostly use Lavash, Taftoon, or Sangak. Nevertheless, it is as tasty with baguettes or toasts—a dish of Salad, such as Shirazi Salad, or lettuce salad. Sabzi Khordan is another favourable side dish with Koofteh Ghelgheli. Torshi (Persian Pickles) is another excellent choice as a side dish. You can serve any beverage with this food. As always Doogh(Persian yoghurt drink ) is an excellent choice to serve with this food.
What are the ingredients of Koofteh Rizeh?
The main ingredient of Koofteh Ghelgheli is meat. They mostly use beef and sometimes lamb to make this food. You can also ground a mixture of both and make the meatballs out of it. Another primary ingredient is an onion. There are also some spices such as saffron, turmeric, salt, and sometimes sumac that you can use to taste it up. Another ingredient that may be deleted from some recipes is the egg. You need to add eggs to paste the ingredients together. At last, you need vegetable oil to fry the meatballs.
How to cook Koofteh Rizeh?
To cook Koofteh Rizeh, ground the meat. You can ground it for two or three times for a better result. Then shred the onion into the ground meat. Mix them well together and distil the onion’s juice completely. Add spices and eggs and some crunch powder to it. Mix all the ingredients well. Make small balls out of the mixture and fry them in a pan with vegetable oil. Try to make equal balls for a better appearance. You can also fry some potatoes and carrots or any vegetables to your liking and serve it next to the meatballs.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is 30 minutes, and the cooking time is 30 minutes, too.
- 10 oz ground beef (or lamb)
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- 2 onion
- 10 oz crunch powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Ground the meat
- Shred one onion into the ground meat
- Add spices to the mixture and mix them well.
- Add crunch powder and egg.
- Distil the onion’s juice and add a cup of water
- Pour some oil into a pan.
- Make small meatballs and fry them in the pan.
- In another pan, add vegetable oil and diced onions.
- Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
- After you fried all the meatballs, marinate them in the tomato sauce.
- Your meatballs are ready; you can serve it with bread.
- You can add French fries or fry some sliced carrots as a garnish.
- You can use these meatballs with Macaroni and in stews.
- You can omit the egg and add any spices you like.