Beautifully spiced Moroccan Lamb Meatballs served with a Minted Yoghurt Sauce. Stuff ’em into pitas for a street food experience, pass them around at a party or pile them over pilaf!
These juicy lamb meatballs are loaded with Middle Eastern flavours. Caramelised on the outside, juicy and flavour loaded on the inside!
Juicy Lamb Meatballs with Moroccan flavours!
Monday Meatball Mania is here! On the last Monday of every month, Jo from Jo Cooks and I each share a meatball recipe, because we both believe that ball shaped food rocks (fabulously high ratio of golden brown surface to juicy meat inside) and there should be more of it in this world.
This month I’m sharing Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, inspired by a visit to the Lakemba Night Markets during Ramadan (26 May – 24 June 2017).
Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims which involves intensive prayer and fasting from dawn to dusk. During this period, the main drag of Lakemba transforms at night with food stalls lining the pavements and is a popular place to enjoy iftar, a communal feast to break the fast.
Fragrant Middle Eastern spices
If you love Middle Eastern food, you’ll be in street food heaven. A vibrant, lively mood, the smell of charcoal, the sizzle of BBQ’s, and the most amazing smell of spices that Middle Eastern food is so well known for wafts through the street. Totally worth driving 50 km / 30 miles for this aaaalll the way from the Northern Beaches!
One of the (ahem – many!) things I tried were spiced lamb meatballs stuffed into pita pockets which I enjoyed so much I wanted to recreate it to share here.
These lamb meatballs are made using my Middle Eastern Lamb Koftas recipe as a base. Lamb is a protein made for heady Middle Eastern spice flavourings! It pairs so well, and the smell when they’re cooking are outrageous!
These Moroccan Lamb Meatballs would also be terrific made with beef, chicken or turkey. Probably with pork too.
But lamb is Middle Eastern through and through. So I do urge you to try this with lamb if you can!
Bake ’em or pan fry ’em. It will worth great either way because lamb, like beef, browns nicely in the oven. For chicken or turkey, spray liberally with oil if you want to bake them, otherwise you won’t get that gorgeous caramelisation. 🙂 – Nagi xx
Try these on the side
If you opt out of pita bread pockets, consider these sides. Because the meatballs are heavily spiced, opt for sides with fresh flavours:
- Shredded Red Cabbage, Carrot and Mint Salad
- Middle Eastern chopped salad (skip the chickpeas if you want)
- Israeli Couscous Salad
- Pico de Gallo (Mexican, but the flavours pair well with Middle Eastern)
- Chargrilled Vegetables
- Lemon Pilaf (fab pairing!)
- Curried Basmati Rice Pilaf
- Chickpea Rice Pilaf
PS You all know those aren’t my hands in the photo below. I had someone helping me on the day I shot these. She has gorgeous long, slim hands and I couldn’t resist borrowing them. 😂
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
Watch how to make it
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs recipe video!
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
- 1 lb / 500 g lamb mince (ground lamb) (Note 1)
- 1 small onion, grated (~1/2 cup, including juices)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, I use panko
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
- 1 tsp EACH cumin, coriander, paprika (any, I like smoked)
- 1/2 tsp EACH cinnamon, cayenne pepper (add more for spicy)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Minted Yoghurt Sauce:
- 1 cup plain yoghurt (I use Greek)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp dried mint)
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
To Serve as pockets:
- 4 flatbreads Lebanese or pita bread
- Shredded Red Cabbage, Carrot and Mint Salad OR lettuce leaves / tomato slices / finely sliced red onion
- More mint and coriander/cilantro optional for garnish
- Mix Minted Yoghurt Sauce ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for 20 + minutes.
- Place Meatball ingredients EXCEPT OIL in a bowl. Mix well.
- Measure out 1 heaped tablespoon, then roll into balls. Repeat with remaining mixture - should have 22 - 24 meatballs.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning to brown all over, for 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate, then cook the remaining meatballs.
- OVEN OPTION instead of stove: Preheat at 200C/390F. Spray with oil then bake for 20 minutes until browned. Sometimes I put them on a rack to keep them round (put the rack on a tray).
- Cut pita pockets in half, warm for 10 seconds in the microwave, then pry it open. Stuff with Salad, then meatballs. Finish with Yoghurt Sauce and more fresh mint and coriander if desired.
Life of Dozer
All that mocking of the photo of him in his hoodie. I ask you – does he look unhappy? Humph! He looks perfectly comfortable to me! 😂 #MockingDozerIsFun