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Lamb Meatballs, Persian Style

3/4 cup fine ground bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water

2 pounds fine ground lamb stew meat
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 pints yogurt
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
salt, to taste

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

sumac, to taste
chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl allow the bulgur to soak in the boiling water 1/2
hour. Drain well.

In a large bowl combine the meatball ingredients, including the
drained bulgur, and mix very well. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls and
place on a baking sheet. (Keep your hands damp with a little water
to facilitate forming the meatballs.) Bake 20 minutes in a preheated
375 degree oven, or until just cooked through.

Heat a frying pan and add the oil and the onion. Saute until tender
but do not brown. In a small saucepan heat the yogurt to a gentle
simmer, stirring regularly. Mix the cornstarch and water together
until lump-free. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the heated
yogurt and stir until smooth and thickened. Add the sauteed onion
and salt to taste to the yogurt. Set the sauce aside and keep it
warm.

In a small pot bring the rice, water and salt to a boil. Cover
and simmer 15 minutes.

Spread the rice over a large platter. Top with the meatballs and
sauce. Garnish with the sumac and chopped parsley. This recipe
serves 6 to 8.

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