Yatimcheh Recipe

(Lamb Meatballs and Potatoes)

Yatimcheh translates to “little orphan”. In original recipe there is no meat among the ingredients. Today, in some Family recipes, it has meat. This is a traditional meals in Iran. From one region to region, ingredients might be different. But it is known as Yatimcheh‘ or little orphan all over Iran.

This is a recipe recreation from my fellow blogger and friend, Rozina, from Rozina’s Persian Kitchen. On her blog, she will be recreating my recipe for Cincinnati Chili and this is my take on her family recipe for Yatimcheh.

About Rozina

Rozina is Iranian but is now living in Scotland with her husband. She is passionate about her cooking and tells the story behind the meal and how to pronounce the Iranian name.

Her recipes are in in Farsi and English along with step by step photos of preparation. She takes all of her own pictures. Rozina learned traditional Persian and Azerbaijani recipes from her mother, and she has learned from her mother.


Yatimcheh – Lamb Meatballs & Potatoes

Yatimcheh (Little Orphan) – literally means little orphan. In original recipe there is no meat in the ingredients, but today in some Family recipes, it has meat. This is a traditional meals in Iran, and from one region to another region, ingredients might be different but the dish is called Yatimcheh‘ or little orphan.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, One Pot, Stew
Cuisine: Iranian, Middle Eastern
Keyword: One Pot, Stew, Yatimcheh
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 644kcal


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lemon zest of
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 lb red potatoes cut in half
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Naan or pita bread


  • Heat one tsp of oil, and fry Shallots (for the meatballs).
  • To make the meatballs, season ground meat with salt and pepper in a bowl
  • Add cooked shallots, oregano and lemon zest
  • Mix well and shape mixture into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • In a frying pan, heat 1 tsp of oil
  • Add potatoes, fry until golden brown, remove fried potatoes and set aside, about 5 minutes
  • Add I tsp more oil into the same pan and sauté diced onions and garlic until transparent and soft, and set aside.
  • Heat the same pan and fry meat balls until brown, but not cooked thru
  • In a bowl with 1.3 cups boiled water add tomato paste, turmeric powder, salt and pepper, and mix all ingredients well.
  • Add cooked potatoes, onions/garlic mixture, chopped tomatoes, and meatballs in a larger pot.
  • Pour prepared liquid on it. and gently give a stir.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Serve it with pita bread or Naan



Serve with Naan or Pita Bread


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 506mg | Potassium: 986mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 7941IU | Vitamin C: 36.3mg | Calcium: 44.7mg | Iron: 4.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Yatimcheh Recipe

Yatimcheh is one of those dishes that has its own recipe in every city. In Shiraz instead of eggplant they use, Zucchini and Azeri people make it with beans and lentils. Some of the Yatimcheh recipes, the people make it with potatoes. In Kashan they use “Dordeh” instead of Butter. “Dordeh” is one kind of oil that is formed from the melted butter in the bottom of a pan and some in Iran think that it is more delicious than the butter. Yatimcheh is a high Fiber food as well as tasty and interesting.

“Little Orphan”

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