Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Persian-style tofu and rice

Jerry Stratton, January 8, 2002

This recipe is up by request after last year’s Christmas party. The spices in the “meatballs” really have their own flavor, and tofu’s amazing ability to absorb flavors makes this a worthwhile dish.


Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pound tofu, mashed or ground
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 5 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tblsp lemon juice
  • 3 tblsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tblsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Rice
  • -
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sauce
  • -
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 points yogurt
  • 4 tblsp corn starch
  • 2 tblsp cold water
  • salt to taste


  1. In a small bowl, allow the bulgur wheat to soak in the boiling water 1/2 hour. Drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients with the bulgur wheat. Mix well.
  3. Make 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20 minutes in 375 degree oven (just until cooked through).
  5. Bring rice, water, and salt to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Sauté the onion with the olive oil until tender but not brown.
  7. Heat yogurt in a small saucepan, to a gentle simmer, stirring regularly.
  8. Whisk the cornstarch into the heated yogurt and stir until smooth and thickened.
  9. Add the onion and salt to the yogurt. Set the sauce aside; keep warm.
  10. Spread the rice flat on a platter or in a serving dish. Arrange the ‘meatballs’ over the rice, pour the sauce over the meatballs, and garnish with additional dill and/or mint.

This is based on Jeff Smith’s “Lamb Meatballs, Persian Style” from The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas. Frankly, I prefer the meatballs version, but this is still a good and an interesting dish.

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