Karam Polo Shirazi
If you cannot find all the herbs, just use parsley, cilantro and dill.
Adapted from Fatemeh Golesorkh
3 c. basmati rice
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, peeled and grated
2 T. chickpea flour or unbleached white flour
1 t. ground turmeric
Olive oil, as needed
6 packed c. shredded cabbage
4 T. verjus or freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 c. lightly packed fresh Italian parsley
2 c. lightly packed fresh cilantro
2 c. chopped lightly packed garlic chives
1 c. lightly packed Persian or Thai basil leaves
1/2 c. lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves
1 c. lightly packed fresh dill (picked off thick stems)
Optional: 2 T. dried summer savory
Soak rice with 1 tablespoon salt 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. In a heavy 4-quart pot with lid, bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a big boil (to parboil the rice).
Knead ground beef with onion, flour, turmeric and season with 2 to 3 teaspoons salt. Roll the ground beef mixture into long ropes about 1/2-inch thick. Cut or pinch into 1/2-inch pieces and roll into tiny meatballs, the size of marbles or hazelnuts. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet and add the meatballs. Cook over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Set them aside.
Meanwhile, heat a 5- to 6-quart non-stick Dutch oven with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil and add the cabbage. Cook over medium heat until wilted. Add the verjus or lemon juice and season cabbage with a little salt. Simmer cabbage until moisture evaporates. Chop the herbs and stir into the cabbage mixture. Remove pan from heat and scrape mixture into a mixing bowl; set aside. Reserve the non-stick Dutch oven for constructing polow.
Parboil rice: Set a large, fine strainer into a bowl set in the sink. Stir rice into prepared pot of boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Loosen rice from bottom of pot with heat-proof rubber spatula twice. Pour rice into strainer and drain. Discard cooking water. Rinse rice with 3 cups warm water, and drain again.