Persian Meatballs (Koofteh Tabrizi)

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 45 mins

| Cook Time: 45 mins

| Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Modern Persian cuisine resembles Middle Eastern food in its elegant use of spices and fresh herbs, sour and umami flavors, and dried nuts and fruits. This recipe for Persian Meatballs (Koofteh Tabrizi in Farsi) is a perfect comfort food dish for a cool winter night. Persian Meatballs are generally much bigger than European cousins and are typically lightly spiced and contain an array of ingredients like rice, split peas, and herbs. For a fun and authentic touch, add a dried date, apricot or plum to the center of each meatball. The meatballs are served in a savory tomato broth with a side of rice for a complete meal. 

We've spiced this dish with our Persian Delight spice blend to make it dead simple to develop traditional Persian flavor in any savory dish. Persian Delight is a proprietary blend we created to showcase a number of essential flavors in Persian cuisine. Lovely herb notes from dill and mint are balanced by notes nutty cumin, lemony-tart sumac, and earthy turmeric. Cinnamon and cardamom punctuate with subtle warmth and exotic notes. 

Use this blend in soups, stews, or in any savory dishes. Try this blend to make other authentic Persian recipes such as our Kidney Bean & Beef Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) or a Spinach Dip with Walnuts (Borani Esfenaj). Or, add an exotic spice to a meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, or even tacos recipes.


  • ½ cup yellow split peas

  • ½ cup basmati rice

  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt, divided

  • 2 ½ cups water

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped in wedges

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 handful green onions (greens only)

  • 1 handful parsley leaves

  • 1 handful cilantro leaves

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, large stems removed

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1.5 Tbsp Piquant Post Persian Delight

  • 1 egg

  • ½ tsp ground pepper

  • For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp avocado (or extra virgin olive) oil

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • 1 tsp Piquant Post Persian Delight

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 3 cups water

  • 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tsp sea salt


If the meatballs don’t stick together well, refrigerate the mixture for 20 minutes.

Remove the large stems from the herbs before adding to the food processor.

You can prep the meatballs in advance and keep refrigerated overnight. Form into meatballs before cooking.


First, make the split peas and rice: Bring split peas, ½ tsp salt and 2.5 cups of water to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add basmati rice, simmer for another 20 minutes. When peas and rice are cooked, remove from the stovetop to cool.

While the split peas/rice are cooking, use a food processor to chop onion, garlic, green onions, parsley, cilantro, and mint. Pulse until finely chopped. 

Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine ground beef, herb mixture, Piquant Post Persian Delight spice, egg, and the remaining 1 tsp salt and pepper. When slightly cooled, add the cooked split peas and rice. Combine well. Using about ½ cup of the mixture, form large meatballs by rolling in your hands (about 3" diameter). Yields around 8-10 meatballs.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, stir fry for 3 minutes. Add Persian Delight spice and tomato paste, stir fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add 3 cups of water, tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Gently add the meatballs to the sauce, cook on medium low for 40-45 minutes, turning half way through. Serve over basmati rice, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Substitute the ground beef for ground chicken, turkey, lamb, or your favorite protein!

  • If you’re missing any of these herbs, don’t stress. Add more of the other herbs and it will still be delicious!

  • Instead of serving over rice, serve over your favorite noodles, or add broth to create more soup to dip with fresh pita.

  • For vegans and vegetarians, use a ground plant-based meat substitute.

  • Try using Persian Delight in our Gormeh Sabzi (Kidney Bean & Beef Stew) or Spinach Dip with Walnuts.

  • For other recipes to use Persian Delight spice, try Persian Chicken Morgh, Zireh Polo (Rice with Chickpeas and Potatoes), or Persian Macaroni with Beef and Turmeric.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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