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Kufteh Pesteh

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Meatballs with pistachios and pomegranate
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 4


  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 pieces sliced bread
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground beef, or lamb or turkey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, slivered
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1 sprig fresh mint and basil


  • In a food processor, ground the pistachios to a course meal. Remove and place in a large bowl.
  • Using the same food processor, add the onion, bread, and herbs and process until they are finely chopped. Remove and add to the mixing bowl with the pistachio meal.
  • Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the oil to the bowl and knead the mixture until it is well mixed.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Spread the olive oil in a casserole style baking dish and set aside.
  • Begin rolling the meat mixture into small-sized meatballs. Roughly about 3-4 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
  • Place the meatballs in the baking dish and gently roll them around to coat them with olive oil.
  • Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine and stir all the ingredients for the glaze.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and using a brush generously glaze the meatballs until all the glaze has been incorporated.
  • Continue to bake for another 5 minutes to make sure the meatballs have fully cooked. Adjust the time according to the size of the meatballs.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and place on a serving platter. Drizzle all the remaining glaze and juices from the meatballs on the platter.
  • Garnish the meatballs with pistachios, pomegranate arils and fresh mint and basil.
  • Serve the meatballs with Persian flatbreads and a platter of fresh herbs.


Different brands of pomegranate molasses offer different levels of sweetness and tartness.  Adjust the amount of pomegranate for the glaze according to your taste preferences. 
Bread slices can be replaced with 2 tablespoons of GF flour such as rice. 
Keyword beef, herbs, kufteh, meatballs, pistachio, pomegranate
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