Prep 45 mins
Cook 40 mins
If you have never experienced a "flavor bomb" exploding in your mouth try this. Comes from Middle East. An all time favorite in my home - guests who have had it once ask if it's on the menu when they are invited again. Says it all I think.
- 750 g lean ground lamb
- 200 g bacon, rashers de-rinded and diced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 pinch thyme
- 1 pinch clove
- 1 pinch cardamom
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled,left whole
- 1 1⁄2 cups lentils
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock
bouquet garni made from
- 5 sprigs parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
- 3 tablespoons mint, finely chopped for garnish
- In a bowl, combine lamb, bacon, water, garlic, mint, parsley, spices and seasoning.
- Mix well.
- (This can also be done in a food processor but do not process the mixture to a puree, just process in short bursts to combine).
- Divide the mixture into about 25-30 small meatballs- flatten a little to a disc shape.
- Place on tray and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To prepare the lentils, heat the olive oil in pan and add the onion, carrot and cloves of garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the onions have become transparent.
- Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup tomatoes, chicken stock, seasoning and bouquet garni.
- Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer.
- Cover and cook until the lentils are tender.
- Discard the bouquet garni.
- Heat extra olive oil in a pan and saute the meatballs in batches in a single layer.
- Remove and add to the lentils.
- Continue to simmer the meatballs and lentils for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Add the remaining cup of tomatoes and cook a further 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve in large soup plates and garnish with the mint.
Great flavor when served immediately, and also great when served as a leftover. I did leave out the bacon (served as part of a middle-eastern dinner party, so no pork) I also blended together (food processor) about 1/2 of the cooked lentil mixture so that part of the the sauce was thickened, and yet part of it remained in larger pieces (lentil, diced tomato, etc). Added a small squirt of fresh lemon juice to each serving, and included kibbeh on the "colorful" menu as well as tabbouleh, middleeastern beet salad and rice pilaf. Thank you for a great recipe that we will definitely be making again!
Wow, fantastic meal. I would love the lentils just on their own, although adding the meatballs to the lentils certainly gave the dish an extra layer of flavour. Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They're mostly spices and the dish comes together quite quickly. Less than an hour in my case from start to finish. I used a mixture of brown and red lentils. Thanks for a superb recipe. Ten stars if I could!
Thank you for a wonderful dinner tonight. The flavour of the meatballs and the lentils were quite different, but both came together really well in the finished dish. We ate it in soup bowls (as it is quite soupy) with a tomato, cucumber, yoghurt salad, and crusty bread. I wish there were more stars to give you for a recipe I've had in my cookbook since it was published!