Gondi (Iranian Jewish Chicken Meatball Soup)
While she may be best known for acting in television series like NCIS and Criminal Minds, Naz Deravian's popular Persian food blog launched her into the culinary world. "I was hungry for the dishes that comforted me—the scents, sounds and spices that defined me and my culture," she says. A popular dish in Iran is gondi: meatballs in broth sprinkled with fresh herbs, often served for Friday night Shabbat in Iranian Jewish households. Though not Jewish herself, Deravian loves the classic soup for its cardamom-perfumed meatballs and fragrant, turmeric-based broth. She says, "The spices give it a depth and unique warmth. And nutrient-rich chickpea flour—a common ingredient in Iranian dishes—makes the meatballs tender and satisfying."
Boiled then sun-dried, dried limes resemble walnut shells and have a savory, tart flavor. (The darker the color, the more potent they are.) Buy them at Middle Eastern markets or online.