Best Kale Gonjeshki Recipe_ Iranian Meatballs and Potatoes

An excellent Iranian dish that resembles a sparrow's head due to its minced meat

I have always been interested in Kale Gonjeshki’s name. I thought the dish must be a combination of a sparrow’s head with tomatoes and potatoes.

But I was completely wrong; this really delicious dish is made with minced meat, tomatoes, and potatoes.

One of the fastest dishes that my mother used to prepare for us, and after the autumn feasts, when we returned from school, the aroma of this dish filled the atmosphere.

Considering that this food is prepared from red meat, please pay attention to the benefits of red meat that is prepared from the health line website.

Fresh meat is regarded as a valuable source of high quality protein.

When a protein contains all 9 amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that your body needs in adequate amounts, it’s thought to have high biological value and can be considered a complete protein (1Trusted Source).

After cooking, meat contains approximately 25–30% protein by weight.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked chicken breast contains about 31 grams of protein, while the same serving size from beef provides 27 grams.

Here’s a look at the nutritional content of a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of lean beef (2Trusted Source):

What is kale gonjeshki?

Kale gonjeshki, a traditional Iranian food with minced meat, has always had its own fans. This food with minced meat can be served for lunch or dinner with bread or rice. The way to prepare this food is very easy, and it is made with simple ingredients.

It is not bad to know that kale gonjeshki and koofteh ghelgheli are the same, and the difference is the size of the meatballs. This food is made the size of a sparrow’s head, and the bigger it is, the more time you need to cook it.

Kale gonjeshki is made in different cities using the same recipe but with more or fewer ingredients. In addition, although this food is considered a Tehrani food, Shirazis and Southerners include it in the list of their favourite foods. You can prepare this food in half an hour for lunch.

Various seasonings and spices, and even aromatic vegetables that sometimes belong to a specific region, are used in the preparation of Kale gonjeshki. It is also possible to add cobs, potatoes, and other desired ingredients to this food.

How to make kale gonjeshki? (Kale gonjeshki recipe)

Preparation time:20 minutes

Cooking time:60 minutes


Minced meat 1.1 pound
Large onion 2 pcs
Tomato paste 2 tablespoons
Medium tomato 3 pcs
Medium garlic 2 cloves
Medium potato 2 pcs
Water (boiling) 2 glasses
Turmeric and black pepper as needed
Salt as much as necessary
Liquid Oil as much as necessary



1. Prepare the meat

Prepare the meat

In the first step, peel an onion, but do not remove the root part. After washing the onion, grate it. Take the onion juice with your hands and set it aside in a bowl. 

Grate or crush the garlic. Mix minced meat with grated onion and garlic

2. Add spices

add spices to minced meat

Add salt, black pepper, turmerics, and your favourite spices, such as cumin powder or ginger and paprika, to the meat mixture.  If you want to add dried or fresh aromatic herbs, do at this stage.

Knead the mixture well

Knead the mixture well until all the ingredients are completely mixed and you have a smooth and consistent mixture. If the mixture does not have enough consistency, add some chickpea flour to it.

3. Prepare the ingredients

fry meatballs in pan with oil

Cover the mixture’s bowl and rest it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that the consistency of the ingredients increases. In the meantime, prepare the sauce.

Chop the remaining onion into small pieces and fry it in a pan with some oil. Chop the tomatoes finely. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices or gems.

4. Make the sauce

Add tomato paste to the fried onion.  Add a little salt, pepper, turmeric, and your favourite spices to it and fry until the raw taste of the paste and spices is taken.

Add the grated or chopped tomatoes, pour them into the pan, and reduce the heat until the tomatoes are raw. After 5 minutes, add boiling water.

5. Fry ingredients

mix potatoe with meatballs

In another pan, fry the chopped potatoes with a little oil. You don’t have to fry them completely. Take out the meat from the refrigerator and fry it in another pan with some oil.

The color of the meatballs should change. Shake the pan to move the meatballs. After the meatballs are fried, put them in kale gonjeshki mixture.

6. Serve kale gonjeshki

add water to kale gonjeshki

Add the fried potatoes to this food mixture and add boiling water to all the ingredients. Set the heat to low. Leave the pot and wait for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the ingredients are fully cooked.

In the last 15 minutes, add lemon juice or orange juice to kale gonjeshki. After cooking, serve it in a suitable dish and eat it with rice, bread, and salad.

kale gonjeshki is ready

Potatoes for health and nutrition

In addition to starch, potatoes contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Potatoes were a life-saving food source in early times because the vitamin C prevented scurvy. Another major nutrient in potatoes is potassium, an electrolyte which aids in the workings of our heart, muscles, and nervous system. Potato skin contains fiber, which is important for digestive health.


How to serve kale gonjeshki?

  • The size of the potatoes should not be bigger than the meatballs.
  • Shirazis usually add lemon juice to this food, or northerners use orange juice or even pomegranate paste.
  • Kale gonjeshki can be served with bread, rice, vegetables, pickles, and various salads.
  • If your family members are interested in spicy food, you can ring green pepper and put it on the meat to make the food taste spicy, and you can enjoy a delicious meal together.


Notes kale gonjeshki

  • In order for your kaleh gonjeshki to have a better appearance, it is better to puree the tomatoes used in the preparation of this food.
  • Frying potatoes in the way of preparing this food, in addition to preventing potatoes from being crushed after cooking, will improve their taste. Of course, if you want to have diet kaleh gonjeshki, skip this step and don’t fry the potatoes.
  • It is better that all the meatballs are the same size so that they are all cooked evenly. The best size is the size of a walnut. Don’t forget that making small and large meatballs will cause some of them to be raw and others to be soft.
  • This food is served with nan sangak or lavash bread , sabzi khordan, zeytoon parvardeh, mast o khiar.


faq kale gonjeshki

1. What is the main ingredient in kaleh gonjeshki?

Minced meat and potatoes are the main ingredients in this food.

2. Can I freeze this food?

No, this food should be eaten fresh.

3. What is served with kaleh gonjishki?

This food is served with sabzi khordan, zeytoon parvardeh, mast o Khair, and mast musir.

4. Kaleh gonjeshki is healthy?

Yes, this food has a lot of protein and calories due to the presence of meat and potatoes.

6. How many calories are in each Kale gonjeshki

The calorie content of each 100 grams of gourd head is as follows: Energy: 197 kcal, Carbohydrates: 8 grams, Protein: 21 grams, Fat: 9 grams.





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Chef Haghighi

I am Chef Haghighi with ten years of cooking experience and setting up many restaurants and fast food in Iran and Turkey. I am interested in writing recipes on my website. I have the TCA international culinary qualification.I have the experience of successfully launching more than 20 restaurants and fast food in USA and Turkey. I have opened all kinds of traditional restaurants and fast food in Iranian and Turkish style. You can contact me for advice on equipping restaurants and fast food In the shortest possible time and for free, I will provide you with advice on buying fast food equipment and setting up a fast food restaurant.

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    1. I didn’t use it and the main taste of the food is with mutton and veal
      But you can use it and share the final result and taste with us

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