Persian / Iranian Ghalieh Esfanaaj

“This is a delicious Persian recipe for meatballs with lentils, split peas & black eyed beans. If you don't have Kashk you can use sour cream, also you can use sumac or a little tamarind paste / powder in place of the pomegranate powder or just leave it out. Preparation time doesn't include soaking time!”
1hr 5mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash black-eye beans, split-peas, and lentils, and soak in warm water for 4 hours. Rinse & drain then place in a large pan with approximately 1 litre of water. Add salt and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. About one cup of water should be left. (Add water or ladle out extra if necessary).
  2. Peel and grate onions. Add to ground meat with salt and black pepper, and mix well. Shape the mixture into small balls. Fry meatballs in vegetable oil over medium heat until lightly browned all over.
  3. Wash spinach & drain well, chop finely. Add to black-eye beans, split-peas, lentils, and meat balls, and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes until there the pulses are soft & there is no water left. Add the pomegranate powder to the pot for the last minute of cooking.
  4. Wash mint and chop finely. Fry in oil for a few minutes.
  5. Serve Ghalieh-Esfanaaj in 4 bowls with 1/4 cup kashk & 25g of mint on the top of each. Serve with a good flat bread / taftoon etc.

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