Recipe: Spicy Meatballs with Pomegranate sauce (Fesinjan Kyufta)

Makes 12 large meatballs

In this case, spicy means seasoned, not hot. Serve with rice pilaf … or stick on toothpicks for a finger food at a party (just put the sauce in a little bowl in the center).


For the meatballs:

3/4 lb ground beef, 85% lean
3/4 lb ground lamb
1 large onion, grated
1 egg
2 Tbsp ice water
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp hot Hungarian Paprika (for mild, increase for hot)
1 tsp dried mint
1 – 1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

For the Sauce:

2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup pomegranate concentrate (available at natural grocers)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp honey


For the meatballs:

1. Combine onion, egg, water, bread crumbs, allspice, paprika, mint, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Pour onion mixture over ground beef and lamb. Using hands, squish everything around until all the seasonings are evenly dispersed.

3. Chill meatball mixture for an hour.

4. Shape meatballs and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (or silpat).  I made each one with a 1/4 cup of the meatball mixture. This made 12.

NOTE: At this point I chilled the meatballs overnight. Right before baking I “perked them up” with a quick shaping. When roasted cold, they retain their round shape a little better.

5. Roast at 425F for 20-25 minutes.

For the sauce:

1. In a small saucepan, combine pomegranate concentrate, honey, pepper, and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes and pour over meatballs. Serve hot.


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  1. what is the thickness of the sauce? any reduction?

    • The sauce reduces a little – and you can do so to taste – the longer you cook it the more syrupy it can become. This definitely will not be like a gravy though.

  2. They look great.

    I like the way you analise the dishes after the meal and write up about it.

    Btw, where is the recipe from? In general, it would be interesting to have a note of the recipe sources.

    • Thanks for your comment Maninas! Most of the recipes I use are a blend of a few sources that I combine, modify, and turn into my own. Sometimes I change the ingredient amounts, sometimes the method and techniques. That is why I don’t always mention my source.

      In this case, the recipe is a combination of recipes and ideas from “Please to the Table” and “The Silk Road Gourmet,” as well as my own work.

      Hope that helps :)

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