Kufteh Tabrizi - Stuffed Meatballs in Peppery Turmeric & Lime sauce

Kufteh Tabrizi is originated from the city of Tabriz in the north-west of Iran. The beautiful historical city is famous for mountains, it's colder climate, and of course their tasty food.

These giant meatballs are made with a combination of rice, split peas, herbs, and ground meat (in this recipe we have used plant-based mince as an alternative). What makes this dish super special is the delicious stuffing in the middle of each Kufteh such as dried fruits (barberries, plums), walnuts, and fried onions, it's then cooked in a flavourful tomato spiced sauce.

There are 3 steps required to cook this dish, but the results are absolutely worth the effort!

  • Cook rice and split peas

  • Prepare the stuffing

  • Cooking Kufteh balls


-1 Cup Rice

-1/3 Cup Yellow Split Peas

-500g Plant-Based Mince

-Small Bunch of Parsley, Spring Onion & Tarragon,

Finely Chopped

-2 Tbsp Chickpea Flour or Wheat Flour

-1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

-1/4 Tsp Turmeric


-1 Jar or Exotic Bazaar's Peppery Turmeric & Lime Tabrizi Sauce


-Half a Brown Onion, Finley Sliced

-8 Plums or Apricots

-1 Tbsp Barrberries or Cranberries

-1/4 Cup Walnuts.

-1/4 Tsp Turmeric


Step 1-

1- Wash the rice a few times until the water runs clear. Soak for at least half an hour before cooking with 1 tsp of salt.

2- Wash the yellow split peas and soak them for at least half an hour.

3- Drain the soaking water of rice and split peas. Add them to a non-stick pot and pour water up to cover about 2cm above the rice and split peas. Cook them until all the water is absorbed. then set aside until it cools down.

Step 2-

Stuffing Preparation:

1- Wash barberries and plums in a colander to rehydrate them.

2- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add onions and fry until they start to change colour. Add the turmeric and fry for another minute and then set aside.

3- On a medium heat a tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Once melted add the barberries with 1tsp of sugar. Then add then plums and walnuts, cook for a minute, and then set aside.

Step 3-

Kufteh Preparation:

1- Combine the cooked rice, cooked split peas, mince, chopped herbs, chickpea flour, and spices all together by hand until the ingredients hold together. If you don't mix it well, the Kufteh will crack open during the cooking process.

2- Take a handful of the Kufteh mix and flatten it in your hand. Put about a tsp of stuffing mix (fried onion, barberries, walnuts, and plum) in the middle and gently bring the sides together to form the famous giant ball shape. Place the Kufteh in the fridge to set. (overnight if you have the time)

3- In a large pot (big enough for all the Kufteh balls) add a Jar of Exotic Bazaar's Tabrizi sauce, 2 cups of boiling water, and bring to a boil.

4- Gently add the Kufteh balls to the sauce and cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat. You can pour some of the sauce on top of Kufteh and gently turn them halfway through so they will cook evenly.

5- Serve in a bowl and use some of the stuffing for garnish.

6- Enjoy Kufteh Tabrizi with rice, flat or Turkish bread, pickles, and fresh salad.


- You can cook the Kufteh Tabrizi in the oven as well. Preheat oven to 180C fan force, use a deep baking dish, add the sauce first, and then Kufteh balls. Bake for about 40 minutes.

-The Plant-based mince and the Tabrizi sauce both contain salt but if your mince doesn't have salt add a tsp of sea salt.


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