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Mini Meatballs and Zucchini Stew

Mini Meatballs and Zucchini Stew

Gime ba Gorje Farangi


This is my husband’s favorite stew! Of course you know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, I was very determined to learn this stew and make my way to his heart (so I could get him to buy me a really nice bracelet I fell in love with at the mall!). This dish can be eaten with bread or rice.

Trick of the trade: Interestingly, it happens that my mother-in-law, aka Superwoman, shapes the mini-meatballs for this stew 2 at a time! I was very impressed and actually learned to do it too! It really cuts the time in half! Simply place two portions of meat the size of chestnuts in your left palm (if you are a righty), one in the middle of the palm and another over the middle finger. Roll both meatballs simultaneously using your right hand over your left hand as usual.



  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into one-inch dice
  • 2 zucchini cut into one-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 2 limes, juiced, and lime wedges to garnish


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, ground or very finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper


  • In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add the stewed tomatoes with their liquid, potatoes, and zucchinis; stir well. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make the meatball mix by combining all ingredients very well.
  • Uncover the saucepan and add the salt, saffron, and lime juice. Mix well. Bring back to a boil and shape meatballs 1 inch in diameter (the size of chestnuts). Gently drop onto the surface of stew, making sure not to stir it at all or they will lose their shape.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and gently stir the stew, detaching the mini meatballs from one another.
  • Continue to cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked and the vegetables are whole but tender.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Reyna Simnegar, the author of Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride, was born and raised in Venezuela. Her family history dates back to the Spanish Inquisition when her family fled from Spain and ultimately arrived in Venezuela. Reyna moved to the United States in 1995 to pursue higher education. She now lives with her wonderful husband and vivacious five boys in Boston, MA
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