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Dawood Basha (Middle Eastern Meatball Stew)

bowl of rice with tomato coated meat balls and potatoes

I am sure we all grew up with various meatballs served for dinner. Meatballs seem to me in almost every culture in some shape or form. The one I enjoyed goes by the name Dawood basha. These Middle Eastern-flavored meatballs braised in a tomato sauce are so delicious with rice for a complete meal. I love adding potatoes to the dish to make it even heartier. In actuality, Dawood Basha is basically kofta kebabs shaped into meatballs. What makes this extra special is that tangy tomato sauce is cooked in with pomegranate molasses. That truly elevates the dish!

These meatballs require no eggs or breadcrumbs or even hours of simmering. As a result, It is quite simple to put together! These can be made with ground beef or ground lamb or, even better a combo of both. The variation I am sharing is just using ground beef, preferably 85/10, because of the fat it lends.

For the tomato sauce, I use fresh tomatoes that I puree myself. However, you can definitely use a can of store-bought tomato puree to do the trick. In addition, potatoes offer more sustenance to the dish. You can even top it with toasted pine nuts to add crunch! This is best served with warm vermicelli rice or fresh pita bread, whatever you prefer.

If you try the Dawood basha, please consider leaving a rating below and/or a review in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you and see your creations on my Instagram page.

close up of bowl of rice with tomato coated meat balls and potatoes
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5 from 15 votes

Dawood Basha

These Middle Eastern meatballs in a tangy tomato sauce are delicious with a side of rice. They are perfect for dinner!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 3 people
Author: Heifa


Meat Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Handful of Parsley
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp All Spice seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil


  • 2 Potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce

  • 3 Semi-ripe tomatoes, cubed
  • 3 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1.5 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp All spice seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Vegetable Stock enough to submerge the meatballs


  • In a food processor, add the parsley, onions, and garlic then pulse until salsa like.
  • Add this to the ground beef along with the seasonings listed. Mix together very well. Create 15 even meatballs.
  • In a pan, add the olive oil then sear the meatballs on both sides until lightly browned on medium heat. The meatballs are not meant to cook fully at this stage; just get some nice color.
  • Set aside once that is achieved. Go ahead and toss the potatoes with a tad more oil in the same pan. Season with salt and pepper. Get a nice crust on them and cover with a lid until they are semi-tender. Then, set those aside as well.
  • Puree the tomatoes in the food processor. In the same pan, add olive oil along with the onions and garlic. Saute until fragrant then add the tomato puree, pomegrenate molasses, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and all spice.
  • Stir together for a few minutes then add the meatballs on top with the potatoes.
  • Add enough vegetable stock to submerge the meatballs halfway. Bring this to a simmer for 20 minutes covered then uncover for 15 min to slightly thicken the sauce. Enjoy with rice or even pita bread!
closeup of dawood basha
closeup of dawood basha

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe has become a family favorite in my home. I always have the simple ingredients on hand and it’s just too easy to put together to create a delicious fulfilling dinner!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this after you posted it on Instagram the other day. It was great! Followed the recipe as written and the family thought it was delicious.

  3. If i wanted to add more sauce, would I double the sauce in the pan with the meatballs or create a separate batch and pour it over after the fact?

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe a few weeks ago and it went down a treat with my husband and I 😍 Such a delicious recipe, packed with flavour…and I wouldn’t expect any different because so far every recipe I have tried from Heifa has been amazing!

  5. This is such an easy weeknight recipe!! Had to end up using canned crushed tomatoes because I was out of fresh, but with the addition of the pomegranate molasses & allspice you couldn’t even tell the difference!

  6. 5 stars
    So hearty and delicious alhamdillah. Very easy, simple recipe. Perfect comfort food dish in my opinion.

  7. 5 stars
    Tried this and my family and I loved it! The recipe was easy to follow and everything turned out delicious

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I made this yesterday and it was so delicious! My family loved it and it was so quick and easy! Definitely making it again especially during the busy weeknights.

  9. 5 stars
    I tried this today and it was delicious! My dad who is not easy to please with food loved it! The recipe was very easy to follow and make, and it did t take much time. Can’t wait to try more recipes!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it was so good. The pomegranate and allspice is subtle and so enticing. I could put that sauce on a lot of different things. Thanks.

  11. Made this once before and planning on making it again today!! Such a delicious recipe mashalah. The pomegranate molasses is a yummy touch

  12. 5 stars
    This is so yummy and has become a family staple in our home. Grateful for easy and tasty recipes that make everyone so happy!

  13. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with some kofta I froze for Ramadan! I pre-cooked the kofta in the air fryer, used tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes, and opted for seven spices for some more depth. Turned out great!!!! JAK Fufu!

  14. 5 stars
    Love this hearty recipe. It has become one of our regular recipes in our household. I often make a large batch of meatballs and freeze them (uncooked or just browned) and still works great.

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe makes my all cozy and warm. Such a great dinner idea during colder days but also all year round.

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