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Lamb Meatballs with Sour Cherry Sauce and Pistachios Paleo and gluten free

Lamb Koftas with Sour Cherry Sauce & Pistachios

This recipe for cherry studded Persian Lamb Meatballs is easy to make and will impress everyone. The sweet and sour cherry sauce and chopped pistachios complement the spiced lamb koftas and take this paleo & gluten free recipe to the next level! 

Course dinner, lunch, main
Cuisine middleeastern, persian, turkish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 portions
Calories 800 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 40 g dried cherries substitute with raisins or cranberries
  • 20 g unshelled pistachios
  • 400 g minced lamb substitute with beef or pork
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 5 tsp coconut oil use avocado oil or butter instead
  • 2 1/2 tsp honey
  • 150 ml bone broth beef or vegetable broth
  • 150 g sour cherries fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 bunch mint


  1. Put the dried cherries in a bowl and cover with either water, unsweetened cherry juice or juice that gathered around the thawed cherries. Put the bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds to let the liquid come to a quick boil, then let cherries soak in the liquid for 15 to 30 minute. Chop the soaked cherries coarsely in a food processor.

  2. Chop the pistachios and put some aside for decoration. Add the rest of them to a bowl together with minced lamb, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cayenne and the chopped cherries. Shape this mixture into walnut sized meatballs and put them on a plate. 

  3. Heat 3 tsp of coconut oil in a pan on medium - high heat. Fry koftas in the pan for about 6 minutes, until nicely browned from all sides. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.

  4. Wipe out the pan and heat another 2 tsp of coconut oil on medium heat. Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and fry them for about 5 minutes, stirring once in a while. Add leftover cinnamon and honey, let fry for a minute, add the broth and cherries. Let this sauce come to a boil for about a minute, then juice the lemon directly into the pan. Add the meatballs, let come to a boil, put the lid on and reduce the temperature to low. Let simmer for about 8 minutes.

  5. Chop the mint. Lift the lid and season the sauce with salt and more honey, if needed. Thicken the sauce with a small amount of konjac flour, if needed. If not eating paleo, you can thicken the sauce with cornstarch.

  6. Serve the kofta on a bed of cauliflower rice and sprinkle with pistachios and mint.