Years of Culture



How to make Persian Fassenjan meatballs with award-winning chef Sami Tamimi


In celebration of Qatar-MENASA 2022, award-winning chef Sami Tamimi has partnered with us for a series of delicious MENASA recipes - including Persian Fassenjan meatballs in walnut and pomegranate sauce.
Chef Sami Tamimi wears a white t-shirt, grey apron and glasses, standing at a kitchen counter holding a plate of meatballs.
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Persian Fassenjan meatballs in walnut and pomegranate sauce 

Fassenjan is a well-known and loved dish in Iran and all over the world. It is possible to prepare Fassenjan with chicken, beef or any other type of meat. I prefer this recipe on winter days because it is rich and warming. It can be served with rice, bulgur and yogurt.

Serves 6


1 kg minced beef
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
15g parsley, finely chopped 
½ tsp ground Coriander
½ tsp ground cumin 
Black pepper 
Sunflower oil 

2 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped 
3 cloves of garlic, crushed 
1 tsp ginger, finely grated 
80g walnuts, chopped 
½ tsp ground coriander 
½ tsp Ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric 
450 ml pomegranate juice 
4 tbls pomegranate molasses
1 dried lime, cracked

Fresh coriander
Pomegranate seeds 


Start with the meatballs, put the meat, onion and parsley into a mixing bowl, add the spices, salt and a good grind of black pepper season. Using your hand, mix well and then shape the mixture into golf ball-size balls.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil a large pan and sear the meatballs in batches for 3 minutes or until they are golden brown on all sides for with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and fry quickly until they are just golden brown on all sides. Transfer the balls into separate plate and set aside while you continue with the remaining batches. 

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook stirring for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Next add the walnuts, spices ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper and give it another stir. Add the pomegranate juice, molasses the dried limes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. 

Garnish the meatballs with coriander and pomegranate seeds and serve with rice, garnished with pomegranate seeds.

About Sami Tamimi:

Sami Tamimi is a celebrated British-Palestinian chef, author, restaurateur and food consultant based in London. Tamimi has built an impressive and illustrious career, including well-known creative and business collaborations with Yotam Ottolenghi. He is known for a vibrant and bold cooking style, with modern recipes influenced by his homeland.

Man wearing glasses, chef whites and apron stands with arms folded and a relaxed neutral expression against a metal wall.
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Man wearing glasses, chef whites and apron stands with arms folded and a relaxed neutral expression against a metal wall.