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The Hirshon Iranian Gondi Meatballs in Chicken Soup – گندی

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 pound ground chicken legs and thighs
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom pods (2 pods)
  • 3 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1 tbsp. rosewater
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ***
  • For the soup:
  • 2 quarts homemade chicken broth
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium leek, white parts only, split lengthwise in quarters, chopped into 1/4-inch segments (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large celery stalk, de-stringed and chopped into 1/4-inch segments (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 whole dried Iranian limes, pierced a few times with a knife
  • 1 tbsp. saffron threads (preferred) or turmeric
  • Chopped parsley and dill for garnish, plus additional lime quarters


  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Reduce to a bare simmer and add dried limes, saffron or turmeric, carrots, leeks, celery, and potato. Cover and cook until vegetables are completely tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gondi.
  2. For the gondi: Place chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until no whole chickpeas remain but mixture is still somewhat chunky. Add all remaining ingredients. Lightly mix with hands until mixture is well combined, then add rosewater and water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture comes together easily and can be rolled into balls that keep their shape but don’t stick to your hands.
  3. Add ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the gondi and mix well. Place a ½-teaspoons worth of mixture on a microwave-proof plate and microwave on high power for 10 seconds until cooked through. Taste and add more salt or pepper if desired. Repeat microwaving, tasting, and seasoning until desired seasoning level is achieved.
  4. Form gondi by rolling a couple tablespoons of the mixture between your hands. Each gondi should measure 1 ½ inches in diameter. You’ll be able to make about 20 gondi. Transfer to a large plate as you form them.
  5. Bring the broth to a gentle boil and carefully lower the dumplings into the broth, cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. The dumplings will expand in the liquid. Remove the lid and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the soup has concentrated in both consistency and flavor. (Add water as necessary, or reduce the liquid for longer.)
  6. Adjust seasoning of the broth with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with herbs and lime quarters.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 846.85 kcal
  • Sugar: 15.39 g
  • Sodium: 2202.29 mg
  • Fat: 40.47 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.97 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.63 g
  • Fiber: 12.07 g
  • Protein: 51.11 g
  • Cholesterol: 176.84 mg