Chickpea Meatballs



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes 12 meatballs/Serves


Appears in

Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple


By Najmieh Batmanglij

Published 2015

  • About

Gondi is popular among the Jewish community of Iran, especially for Shabbat. Some say the name is from one of two villages of the same name in Iran.

Prep: 20 minutes, plus chilling for 30 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes



  • 2 medium onions, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground chicken thigh meat
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons rose water*
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup (50 g) chickpea flour


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • cups (830 ml) water

Sweet and Sour Syrup

  • ½ cup (120 ml) wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grape molasses* or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint


  • ¼ cup (20 g) chopped Fresh cilantro or mint


  1. To make the meatballs: In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, ground chicken, salt, pepper, cardamom, saffron-infused rose water, and 2 tablespoons water. Knead the mixture lightly with your hands.
  2. Add the chickpea flour, a little at a time, and continue to knead until all the flour has been absorbed (do not over-mix, it will make the meat-balls dense). Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  3. To make the broth: Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and sauté the onions for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, and turmeric, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in the water and bring to a boil.
  4. Shape the paste into walnut-sized balls (using an ice cream scoop) and gently add them, one by one, to the broth. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, grape molasses, and mint, and pour over the meatballs. Continue to cook over medium heat for another 15 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then cover and keep warm. Just before serving, garnish with the cilantro. Nush-e joon!