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Kal-leh Gonjishki

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Tiny meatballs in tangy tomato sauce with roasted potatoes
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4



  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Limu omani, cut in 1/2 (Persian dried lime)
  • 1 1/2 cups water, adjust as necessary


  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, cut french fries style
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon, turmeric, ground


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except for the oil and mix well and form into small meatballs (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan and saute the meatballs for about 10 minutes.
  • Move and turn the meatballs as necessary to brown them on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Heat 2 additional tablespoons of oil in the same pan and saute the diced onions for about 15 minutes over medium-high heat, until lightly golden brown.
  • Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric, and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste to the onions and gently saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Return the meatballs to the pan, cover, and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Taste and adjust for tartness and seasoning.
  • While the stew is cooking, combine the sliced potatoes with oil, salt, turmeric, and roast in a 375℉ oven for 30 minutes or until fully roasted.
  • Arrange the stew on a serving platter and place the roasted potatoes on top. Serve with Persian steamed basmati rice.
Keyword cauliflower, meatballs, stew, tomato sauce, whole30
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