Meatballs With Chick Peas & Preserved Lemon -- Morocco

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
Recipe by Um Safia

This recipe is one of my family's all time favourite meals. We used to make this with ground lamb or beef but decided that it was healthier (& just as tasty) to use chicken instead. You need plenty of fresh crusty bread to mop the delicious sauce up with. Sometimes I double up on the meatball ingredients & freeze half of the prepared meatballs to make it easier next time I cook this dish!

Top Review by mianbao

Thank you for posting this recipe. If you hadn't I probably would not have become interested in Moroccan food, and decided to try this. I have absolutely no experience with the food of this general area, so this was rather an undertaking for me. The pictures were appreciated. My dish does look similar, though I can't be sure of the flavor. The preserved lemons and ras el hanout can not be easily found in Tokyo, but I did get some organic lemons and tried a "quick" preserved lemon recipe. I also used a recipe for the spice mix. All in all, it was quite interesting, and the finished dish tastes very good. So, I think this is a win. Thank you again for expanding my horizons.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To Make The Meatballs:.
  2. Tear the bread into tiny pieces - to make breadcrumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients. Use your hands to squich the mixture together until it is mixed really well (I usually wear gloves to do this!).
  4. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes then taking a tablespoon at a time, roll into meatballs.
  5. Gently fry them in a little olive oil or sunflower oil, until they are golden on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper & set aside.
  6. To Make The Sauce:.
  7. Fry the onion in a little oil. When it is a pale golden colour, add the spices & cook for a further minute.
  8. Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon. Wash well to remove some of the saltiness then cut very finely. Add the lemon & the rest of the ingredients (except the cilantro & the lemon juice) to the pan.
  9. Cover & simmer for 1 hour.
  10. After an hour, remove the lid. Reduce the sauce until you have just enough to serve the meatballs in - you don't want too much but you don't want to serve dry meatballs either! When the sauce is the right consistency, add the cilantro & lemon juice & cook for a minute.
  11. Sprinkle more finely chopped cilantro over the top & serve.

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