Persian Meatballs over Saffron Rice

Posted by on Jan 3, 2019 in Recipes | No Comments
Persian Meatballs over Saffron Rice

Persian Meatballs over Saffron Rice

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Variations: None.
Servings: 6
Tips: Gently cook the meatballs in the sauce over a longer period of time to allow the flavours of the
sauce to develop.

500g minced beef
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
15g fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
15g fresh chives, chopped
15g fresh coriander, chopped
15g fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
2/3 cup frozen and thawed cranberries, roughly chopped
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for frying
Plain yoghurt, for serving
Pomegranate rubies, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish

Meatball sauce:
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp tomato paste
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Saffron rice:
1/4 cup boiling water
Generous pinch of saffron threads
1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cups chicken stock

1. Using your hands, combine the minced beef with the cooked rice, red onion, garlic, parsley,
chives, coriander, basil, turmeric, cranberries and egg and generously season with salt and pepper.
2. Form the minced beef mixture into meatballs about the size of golf balls.
3. Heat a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and
fry the meatballs for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown all over.
4. To make the meatball sauce heat a splash of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and
cook the onions until they are soft and lightly golden.
5. Add the garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and tomato paste and fry for an additional minute.
6. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
7. Reduce the heat and place the meatballs into the sauce, gently simmer on a low heat for about 30
minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
8. In the meantime, make the saffron rice. In a jug, combine saffron threads and boiling water and
allow to steep for about 5 minutes.
9. In a medium saucepan, combine saffron water with the basmati rice and chicken stock, cover and
bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the rice is
10. Squeeze the lemon juice over the Persian meatballs before serving and spoon meatballs and
sauce over the saffron rice. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, pomegranate rubies and serve with cool


Recipe developed and styled for Karan Beef’s Beef Easy app.

Photographed by Hendrik Steytler.

Food stylist Johannesburg, South Africa.