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+ servings

Anar Bij

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
meatballs in pomegranate and herb sauce
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 4


  • 3 cups walnuts, finely ground
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef, or lamb
  • 1 small onion, grated, juices squeezed out
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley, about 2 bunches
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro, about 2 bunches
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint, about 1 bunch
  • 8 green onions, finely chopped. Or 4 tablespoons dried Persian Tarreh
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, amount will vary from brand to brand


  • Using a food processor, grind the walnuts to a fine powder and set aside. Using the same food processor, finely chop the herbs one batch at a time and set aside.
  • Place the ground walnuts, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric in a large pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should notice how the oil will naturally separate from the ground walnuts and collect on the surface.
  • While the walnuts are simmering, prepare the meatballs.
  • Place the ground meat, grated onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in a medium sized bowl and mix well.
  • Form the mixture into meatballs about the size of a walnut and set aside.
  • Select a large frying pan, add oil and saute the meatballs on medium heat to lightly brown them and firm them up, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set them aside.
  • Once the walnuts have simmered for 30 minutes, add the meatballs, the herbs and the pomegranate molasses. Cover and simmer over low heat for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste depending on the tartness or sweetness of your pomegranate molasses.
  • Serve with Persian steamed rice or flat breads along with a platter of fresh herbs.
Keyword fresh herbs, meatballs, pomegranate, walnut sauce
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