Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spicy meatballs

Serves 4



These have the distinct taste of Morocco with one of those gentle spice kicks which make them all the more moreish. I have them with either couscous or pilaf rice with a blob of yoghurt and some sharp feta cheese. But there is absolutely no shame in serving them atop pasta or with a salad. The perfect midweek supper that can be prepared in minutes and left to cook with very little attention required.


2 tblsp mild paprika

2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
2 big handfuls of chopped flat-leaf parsley and 3 of chopped coriander leaves
4 big cloves of garlic, crushed
450g lamb mince
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
2 tblsp olive oil
2 x 400g tins chopped plum tomatoes
2 tsp sugar


Mix together the spices, garlic, parsley and 2 handfuls of coriander. Thoroughly mix half into the lamb with the lemon zest, season generously and squidge together with your hands.


Shape into 20 equal-sized balls. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the meatballs in 2 batches until just brown on all sides — about 5 minutes for each batch. Remove and keep to one side.


Put the remaining spice, herb and garlic mix in the same pan, stir over the heat for 15-20 seconds, then add the tomatoes and sugar and season well. Simmer for 25 minutes, until thick, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes.


Add the meatballs, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Scatter with the remaining coriander leaves