Armenian Meatballs

Armenian Meatballs

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Combine cinnamon, allspice, mint, cilantro, garlic, raisins and pine nuts with chopped meat. Shape this mixture into small meatballs, brown and simmer and you will have the most amazingly delicious hors d’oeuvre you have ever had. Dip the meatballs into Sour Plum Sauce (Tkemali) and you’ll be hooked!

Armenian Meatballs

By Gloria Kobrin Published: January 5, 2015

  • Yield:

  • about 50 meatballs
  • Cook time:

  • 1 hr 15 mins


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion peeled, cored and minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves peeled & minced
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 pound Chopped Steak
  • 14 ounces chopped veal
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons Unflavored, Non-dairy Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 cup cilantro stems removed, minced and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Mint Leaves stemmed, minced and rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons flour more if necessary


  • 1 electric food processor steel knife inserted
  • 1 large skillet with cover
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • large pan with lip lined with paper towels
  • slotted spoon


  1. Pour two tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet. Place over medium flame. Add onion and saute for eight minutes. Stir in garlic, pine nuts and raisins. Stir until onions and nuts are lightly colored. This takes about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place chopped beef and veal in mixing bowl. Add egg, crumbs, herbs, spices, water and sauteed onion mixture. Mix thoroughly. This is most easily done with your hands.
  3. Form small meatballs-about the size of small walnuts- and set aside. Rinse out skillet.
  4. Sprinkle four on a flat surface. Dredge meatballs lightly in flour. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil and one tablespoon of olive oil in skillet. Place over medium-high flame. Add several meatballs at a time to hot oil. Don't crowd them. You will have to cook the meatballs in batches. Saute meatballs until brown on all sides. Reduce flame to low and cover skillet. Cook for another 10 minutes shaking the pan occasionally. Remove meatballs from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add more vegetable oil and olive oil to skillet and repeat process of browning and cooking until all the meatballs have been done. Serve hot or at room temperature with Sour Plum Sauce.