Addas Pilau & Meatballs

Nura’s recipe

This rice dish is typically served with small meatballs and plain yogurt.

Servings: About 4

Ingredients for addas pilau and meatballs

1 3/4 c. uncooked rice

1/2 cup dried brown lentils

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion

3 t. cumin seeds

1 t. coriander (optional)

1 t. cardamom (optional)




Step 1: Boil the lentils until they are semi-tender (approximately 10 minutes). Prepare the rice by the chelo method through the boiling and rinsing steps, but before draining, add the cooked lentils and stir. 

Step 2: In the colander, gently fold the spices (cumin, coriander, and cardamom) into the rice-lentil mixture. Steam the mixture 30 to 40 minutes as per the chelo method. 

Step 3: To make the meatballs, mix together 1 lb. ground beef, 1 medium onion and 1 t. salt. Shape the meat into chestnut-sized balls. Fry until done to your liking.

Step 4: Keep the cooked meatballs warm until done steaming; combine the meatballs with the rice before serving. Garnish with yogurt.

Recipe © Nura Amerson 1991

A plate of addas pilau and meatballs with parsley and paprika-adorned yogurt
Addas pilau and meatballs with parsley and paprika-adorned yogurt

Layli’s Reflections

The pilau turned out quite well thanks to the chelo guide. Instead of mixing the lentils and rice together as in the original recipe, I put a layer of rice in the pot, then the lentils, then another layer of rice. Why? I guess the tos kabob got me in a layering mood! (I also used more lentils than the recipe calls for—they’re yummy and healthy!) Even the potato tadeek turned out well; it is not pictured due to having been eagerly consumed!

For the meatballs, I forgot to buy ground beef. Luckily, meatballs can be made with just about anything you can grind up. I used pulverized Boca burgers and bread, plus two eggs, in place of the beef—and they turned out perfectly! Maybe the universe is urging me toward vegetarianism…

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