dawood basha

Dawood Basha (Syrian Meatballs in tomato pomegranate sauce

I feel so proud of myself that I actually motivated myself to take step by step photos and upload and write this post!  It takes twice as long to make a dish when photographing step by step because I had to continuously stop, wash my hands, take the photograph etc.  Def challanging when the dish is actually on the stove.  But anyway, this dish is called Dawood Basha which translates literally to Pasha David.  I'm not sure how accurate this story is as its been told to generations and generations.  There was a nobleman aka a Pasha in the Ottoman empire that invented this dish in his kitchen and would eat it all the time because he loved it so much.  It is confirmed that there was a Dawood Pasha governor of Lebanon in the late Nineteenth century but that's all I could find. 

This dish is such a comfort food for me.  It can be eaten with rice or bulgar but I prefer rice.  People of Damascus like to add chickpeas but that is an optional ingredient.   If I have it on hand i'll add it, if not my life goes on.  


  • 1 lb ground beef (or lamb)
  • 1 medium sized onion
    • 1/4 cup minced
    • remaining sliced
  • 1/4 cup bulgar
  • 1/2 can of 8oz tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup water (or chicken stock)
  • 1 Tbl pomegranate molassas
  • salt & pepper


  1. Soak the 1/4 cup of bulgar in water
  2. add the bulgar, minced onions, salt & pepper to the ground beef and form into 1 inch balls
  3. sauté the meatballs in deep pan, do not cook all the way through or else they will be dry
  4. set meatballs aside
  5. in same pan sauté the onions
  6. add the tomato sauce, water (or chicken stock), pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper
  7. Let the flavors cook together for a few minutes
  8. Add the meatballs and cook for roughly 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through
  9. If adding chickpeas add 5 minutes before the end
  10. Serve over rice or bulgar


  • Add more tomato sauce if it's too diluted
  • Add 1 teaspoon of flour if the sauce is not thick enough
  • Add more water (chicken stock) if the sauce is too thick