Meatballs in tomato pomegranate sauce aka Dawood Basha is the ultimate comfort dish that’s so simple to make!
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I feel so proud of myself that I actually motivated myself to take step by step photos and upload and write this post! It takes twice as long to make a dish when photographing step by step because I had to continuously stop, wash my hands, take the photograph etc. Def challanging when the dish is actually on the stove. But anyway, this dish is called Dawood Basha which translates literally to Pasha David. I’m not sure how accurate this story is as its been told to generations and generations. There was a nobleman aka a Pasha in the Ottoman empire that invented this dish in his kitchen and would eat it all the time because he loved it so much. It is confirmed that there was a Dawood Pasha governor of Lebanon in the late Nineteenth century but that’s all I could find.
This dish is such a comfort dish for me. It can be eaten with rice or bulgar but I prefer rice. People of Damascus like to add chickpeas or potatoes but that is an optional ingredient. Some also like to add fine parsley to the meatball and I’ll admit that gives it a nice added flavor. If I have either the chickpeas, potatoes or parsley on hand i’ll add them, if not my life goes on and the dish still tastes amazing.
I hope you enjoy!
These meatballs are like no other! This is a classic Syrian dish with rich flavors from simple ingredients. The pomegranate molasses and bulgar set this dish apart from your typical meatball dish.
- 1 lb ground beef or lamb
- 1 medium sized onion 1/3 cup minced remaining sliced
- 1/4 cup bulgar
- 1 can of 8oz tomato sauce
- 2 cups water or chicken stock preferably stock
- 1 Tbl pomegranate molassas
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 potato optional
Soak the 1/4 cup of bulgar in water for 5-10 minutes
Remove bulgar from water and mix with minced onions, ground beef, salt & pepper and form into 1 inch balls (makes roughly 25 meatballs)
In 1 tbsp oil sauté the meatballs in deep pan for 3-4 minutes on each side, do not cook all the way through or else they will be dry
- set meatballs aside
in same pan add 1 tbsp oil and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes on medium heat
add the tomato sauce, water (or chicken stock), pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste
- Let the flavors cook together for a few minutes
Add the meatballs and potatoes (optional), cover and cook for roughly 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through
Optional *** add 1 tsp of corn starch with a few drops of water to make it smooth and then add it to the sauce with the meatballs
- Serve over rice or bulgar
Tips: Add more tomato sauce if it's too diluted Add 1 teaspoon of flour if the sauce is not thick enough Add more water (chicken stock) if the sauce is too thick
Lina Akkad says
Okay, so I just made this and IT WAS SO EASY! Even for me!! I’m not the best cook, but my husband was ALL about this dish! Also, being half Syrian, it really took me back.
nadia hubbi says
yay! so glad to hear that you liked it! and yes isn’t it so easy!
Made this for iftar the first night of Ramadan and it was amazing! The whole family loved it and it was so simple and easy to make! I have a teenage son so meat is his favorite thing! I doubled the recipe so that we could heat it up and eat it the next day and it was even better the second day. The meatballs were so yummy after they sat in the sauce overnight! Yummy…this is going to be a family favorite for sure!
nadia hubbi says
Yay so glad to hear this Nancy! And I think its better overnight too!