Zereshk Polo Ba Koofteh – Barberry rice with iranian meatballs

Koofteh is one of the famous and delicious Iranian foods and I am going to explain the recipe of zeresk polo ba Koofteh in this post. This meatballs is similar to Koofteh Ghelgheli and Koofteh Tabrizi.

Zeresk polo ba Koofteh is easy to prepare and has no special tricks. It needs 2 main ingredients: Minced meat and onion. It is very tasty and delicious. If you use raisins, barberry, and saffron in it, you will have a colorful meal that is suitable for parties and everyone will enjoy seeing its colors. Combining the smell of saffron with the aroma of rice and cooked meats is amazing. I used a piece of bread in the pot, to get the Tahdig.

These meatballs are small and that is why they are called small meatballs. Their small size makes them cook faster.

I suggest frying the small meatballs and letting them cook with the rice. Rice with small meatballs is great; Especially if served with fresh herbs and pickled. But if you want, you can serve the meatballs without rice, with a little tomato paste and more time for frying.

Koofteh Rizeh with rice and Tahdig

The difference between Koofteh Rizeh and Koofteh Ghelgheli and Koofteh Tabrizi is that the Koofteh Rizeh are smaller. These are about half a finger’s size, But Tabrizi meatballs are the size of the palm of your hand. As I said, small meatballs need two main ingredients: Ground meat and onion; But inside Tabrizi meatballs, other ingredients such as cobs are also added.

Zereshk Polo Ba Koofteh

Zereshk Polo Ba Koofteh
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: iran
Servings: 3 people


  • 300 gr ground lamb or ground beef
  • 1 onion medium
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1/3 tbsp salt for meatballs-1 tbsp for rice
  • oil
  • Pepper, turmeric, curry powder
  • Saffron, barberry, raisins for garnish


  • Take the ground meat out of the freezer to thaw the ice. If you see the red juice that is called"purge", be sure to throw it away. Press the meat in your hand to separate the purge.
  • Grate the onion. Onions should be grated with a fine grater. After grating, the onion becomes watery. Take the onion juice completely. It is very important that the Koofte Rizehingredients are not liquid and watery. If the meat or onion becomes watery, the meatballs will stick to the dish when frying.
  • Mix the meat and onion. Add salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder; Pour a small amount. To the extent that the meatballs taste, but the spices do not burn on heat. Knead the ingredients by hand to mix well.
    Mix the meat and onion
  • Make Koofteh Rizeh. Take some meat, make a meatball about Knuckles (about 1.5 inches) and place them on a tray. You should rotate the meatballs in the palm of your hand so that they are well-rounded. (Ghelgheli)
    Make Koofteh Rizeh or meatballs in your hands
  • Fry the meatballs. Put a pan on the heat and add some oil to it. When the oil is well heated, add the meatballs. If the oil does not heat up well and you pour the meatballs, they will stick to the pan.
    Do not start stirring quickly. Wait a while for the meatballs to cook a little and harden. You can then stir them with a spoon and reduce the heat (Not too little). In general, we don’t need well-done meatballs, because they will cook well with rice.
    Roast them over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat when they are slightly discolored and you are sure they are formed and do not lose their form. They should not be brown or burnt.
    Fry the meatballs
  • Pour water into a pot. Pour the pre-soaked rice into boiling water. Add salt to it. After a few minutes, bring to a strainer. Also, you may don't using Strainer and cooked Kateh.
  • Pour the rice into the pot and add some oil over it. Pour the meatballs over the rice. Let the rice steaming with the meatballs.
    Special suggestion: Before pouring the rice, you can pour a little oil into the pot and let it heat up. The heat should be medium to low. Put a piece of bread or potatoes in the bottom of the pot. When the oil heats up, the bread or potatoes turn golden. Then pour the rice and meatballs on it. That way you will eventually have a great Tahdig (Crispy Persian Rice). You can see my delicious Tahdig in the photo.
    The time to steam depends on the type of rice, But it usually takes at least 20 minutes to 40 minutes.
    Pour the meatballs over the rice
  • After steaming the rice, the meatballs are well cooked. You can separate some rice before mixing it with meatballs and add steamed saffron to it. Then mix the rest of the rice well to combine the meatballs with the rice.
    Put the polo with the Koofteh Rizeh on a plate. Garnish with saffron, decorate with barberry and raisins and serve. Enjoy your meal
    Koofteh Rizeh with rice
Koofteh Rizeh with Tahdig or Crispy Persian Rice


Tiny meatballs are very delicious with barberry, saffron, and rice. This is not a famous Iranian dish, unlike zarshak Polo Ba morgh (Persian Barberry Rice with Chicken), and you probably haven’t heard of it before.

Honestly, this is a very delicious creative initiative and it was born out of my love for tiny meatballs. I suggest you try it, children usually like this food and play with its meatballs. Check out the list of other Iranian dishes made with minced meat.

  • Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Container3
  • Serving SizeOne plate (310 grams)
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories539
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat23 g29.49%
  • Saturated Fat7 g35%
  • Trans Fat0.6 g
  • Cholesterol90 mg30%
  • Sodium1087 mg47.26%
  • Total Carbohydrate49 g17.82%
  • Dietary Fiber2 g7.14%
  • Total Sugars1.3 g
  • Protein32 g64%
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