Chicken and Chickpea Soup With Dumplings (Gondi)

January  4, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

These fluffy dumplings traditionally eaten by Iranian Jews for Friday night Shabbat dinner. They are virtually foolproof, with a texture that’s tender but firm, and a taste brimming with warm Middle Eastern flavors.

Though similar to matzo balls, which are eastern European in origin and made primarily from eggs and matzo meal, aromatic gondi are shaped from a thick puree of ground chicken and toasted chickpea flour, a staple ingredient of the Middle East, and seasoned with turmeric and cardamom. Luckily, they're less labor intensive, too, and gluten-free.

Featured In: This Persian, Matzo Ball-ish Soup Has a SuperpowerLouisa Shafia

What You'll Need
  • Dumplings
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 egg

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups toasted chickpea flour
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 12 cups water or chicken stock
  • Soup Broth
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 dried limes, pierced with a fork
  • 2 cups loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh dill, flat-leaf parsley, or cilantro
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  1. To make the dumplings, puree the onions in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl, and whisk in the egg, garlic, cardamom, turmeric, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and several grinds of pepper. Mix in the chickpea flour and chicken to form a thick paste. Cover and store the dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, to firm up.
  2. Wet your hands with cold water and break off whole walnut- or golf ball-size pieces of the dough, whichever size you prefer. Roll them into balls, making a total of 30. Refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large stockpot, bring the 12 cups stock and 2 teaspoons sea salt to a rapid boil.
  3. Carefully drop the dumplings into the stock. Turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes without opening the pot. When ready, the gondi will be firm in the center. Remove them with a slotted spoon. The cooking stock can be strained and used for the soup broth, or reserved for another use.
  4. In a second stockpot, combine the 8 cups stock, carrot, and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Pierce the limes with a fork and add them to the stock. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice just before serving. Divide the gondi among soup bowls, ladle the broth over the top, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gabsimonelouise
  • Mike Sidman
    Mike Sidman
  • Louisa Shafia
    Louisa Shafia
  • Tania  - The Oceanside House HB
    Tania - The Oceanside House HB
My cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is a winner of Food52's Piglet award. I love cooking Iranian rice and hearing people crunch on the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot. I'm passionate about sharing the ingredients and techniques for making Persian food in my writing, cooking classes, and online store, Feast By Louisa where you can find my Persian Spice Set, Tahdig Kit, and other goodies.

10 Reviews

Tania -. May 14, 2018
I have made almost all the soups from the "27 brothy soups....." article and this is my favorite. I have made it twice and even got compliments on how aromatic my house was.
Kim February 4, 2018
This looks so good! My husband has to follow a low sodium diet - can I leave the salt out of the dumplings, or does it cause them to rise?
Louisa S. February 5, 2018
Hi Kim! I just put the salt in there for flavor, so they should be fine without it.
Kim February 5, 2018
Excellent! Thank you!
gabsimonelouise January 24, 2018
What is a good substitute for the dried lime? Thanks!
Louisa S. January 24, 2018
You could use the grated zest of one lime. If it doesn't taste quite lime-y enough, finish the soup with some fresh lime juice when serving.
gabsimonelouise January 24, 2018
Awesome, thank you!
Mike S. January 4, 2018
This is such an exciting recipe! I have one question about the toasted chickpea flour: do you buy it pre-toasted? How does that work?
Louisa S. January 4, 2018
Hi Michael, you toast the flour in a pan until it becomes fragrant and starts to brown. I explain in more detail here:
Mike S. January 4, 2018
Ah I didn't see that -- thank you!