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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Moroccan Meatballs

The humble meatball, loved all over the world, is also known in every language by a different name . The terms we are most  familiar with Kofta, Kefta, Albondigas are just as delicious made from beef, chicken, pork or lamb and also fish. The variation of spices and additives depend entirely on the cuisine of that country and how they serve their meals. The common thread is only that the main ingredient is minced meat or fish. They are easy, delicious, freeze well and always better the next day.
This little dish would probably be served as a tagine and part of a banquet, if we were in Morocco.
Serve with rice, couscous yoghurt and harissa.  Harissa, is a spicy chilli based condiment used all through Morocco and Tunisia. It is readily available these days in a tube, or can, and keeps very well for a long time. You can make your own and keep in the fridge with a cover of oil on top!
If you happen to be visiting New York go and visit one of the three Meatball Shops !

1 kilo lamb mince
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin 
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon of harissa or  minced chilli ( if you are serving children or not sure of peoples tolerance to chilli you may leave it out and serve with the harissa on the side... experiment with the taste
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Mix all of the above in a large bowl and set aside, for at least an hour for the flavours to develop.

Tomato Sauce

2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 bottle of sugacasa or tomato puree
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon harissa or garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin

 Place all of the sauce ingredients in a  large saucepan or casserole pot and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent catching on the bottom.

Shape the meat mixture into oval shaped balls, and place on a baking sheet covered tray in the oven for 10 minutes, on 175C. This will set the meatballs and release some of the fat from the lamb.Remove from oven and place in the hot tomato sauce and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.
Serve with the rice or couscous, dollop some yoghurt on top, a teaspoon of harissa and garnish with chopped coriander .


  1. Yum scrum. Sue - you gave me this recipe after one of our beach holidays and it's still a family favourite. Going to make it this weekend!! Angela

  2. Yes I remember! We still have it regularly and love it to. Thanks Angela