Koofteh berenjii

Little balls of lamb with a fruit and nut stuffing make a truly tasty Middle Eastern style treat from Janet Brinkworth
By Janet Brinkworth
Koofteh berenjii
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 500 g lean minced lamb
  • 100 g basmati rice, cooked
  • 100 g split peas, cooked
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g chickpea or gram flour
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful of parsley
  • large handful of mint
  • large handful of dill
  • large handful of tarragon
  • large handful of tops spring onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 litres water
  • 100 g dried barberries, or cranberries
  • 100 g walnut halves, coarsely chopped


1. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl with the rice, the split peas, the eggs and the chick-pea flour. Season well and mix thoroughly with your hands.

2. Chop the herbs and the onion ends finely and add them to the meat mixture.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the onion until browned. Remove half from the pan and set aide and then stir the tomato puree and water into the remaining onions and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

4. Form the meat mixture into balls about as big as your fist. Make a hollow in each of the balls and add in about a teaspoon each of the onions, the berries and the walnuts. Seal each one with another spoonful of the meat.

5. Slide the balls into the bubbling liquid and reduce to a simmer.

6. Allow to cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes while the liquid reduces and the meat poaches.

7. Serve with the reduced sauce spooned over the top.

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