I came across this recipe on the blog Cooking Up The Pantry (Ros in Western Australia) where she said “I can remember joking as a child that my Mum had one hundred and one ways of cooking mince but this certainly wasn’t one of them!“. I’ve always said there are so many ways to use mince but I have never cooked Middle Eastern Meatballs before so as soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I wanted to try them as I love new flavours and ways of cooking. Yoghurt and tahini – what a lovely mixture.
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves
80g breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary)
100g pistachio kernals
5 teaspoons ground cumin
6 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon chilli powder
50g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
600g minced beef
350g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Using a food processor, blend the onion and garlic.
Add the dates, breadcrumbs, pistachios, cumin, ground coriander, fresh coriander salt and pepper.
Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.
Tip this paste into a bowl; add the egg and minced beef and using your hands, mix really well.
At this stage you can leave the meat in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours to develop its flavour, or carry on as below.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Heat a large non stick fry pan over a medium to high heat. You can add a little oil if you want.
Form the meat into small meatballs – around 40.
Cook the meatballs in batches, just to seal the outside. Place the sealed meatballs in an ovenproof dish and continue to cook the remaining balls.
Once all the meatballs are sealed, spread them evenly in your ovenproof dish.
In a jug, combine the yoghurt, tahini, garlic, lemon zest, water, salt and pepper and pour over the meatballs.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they are just cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
Serve with Lebanese flatbreads or a gluten-free pitta bread and salad. Alternatively, roll them up in lettuce leaves and eat using your hands.
These meatballs can be frozen, in their sauce, before cooking in the oven.
The flavour of these meatballs was divine. Slightly sweet, yet a little spicy and so very moist. We decided to eat our meatballs rolled in lettuce leaves.