Sunday, 5 May 2013

Spicy(ish) Lamb Meatballs for the Whole Family

A tasty and warm if not excessively spicy dish which could even be finger food if you're feeling brave (and have your surfaces covered!)

If you're cooking just for kids who really like spicy food or adults, I'd up the harissa to 1tsp, perhaps 2 if you're really feeling the burn!  Or alternatively add a bit of extra harissa or chilli sauce in at the table.

Lamb Meatballs - Made enough for 2 adults and 1 toddler but there was loads left over for the freezer.


600g, 21oz Lamb Mince (ground lamb)
1 Courgette (zucchini)
1 clove of garlic, finely grated or crushed
1 tsp ground dried coriander (powdered / ground cilantro seeds)
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp olive oil for cooking


1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
500g, 18oz Passata (sieved tomatoes)
1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp harissa paste

For the couscous

100g, 3.5oz easy cook couscous
1 tin of chickpeas, ready cooked (drained weight 240g, 8oz)
Mint, parsley and coriander to taste
1 tsp white wine vinegar


Grate the courgette (zucchini) and mix with the lamb, grated garlic, coriander and cinnamon.  Form into small balls a bit smaller than a walnut.  Heat a frying pan and put in the oil.  Fry the meatballs in batches until browning.

While you're browning the meatballs, heat the oil for the sauce in a large saucepan and add the garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add in the pasatta, cumin, paprika and harissa and mix and leave over a low heat.

As each batch of meatballs is browned, put into the saucepan.  Do this gently because they're quite fragile until they're cooked.

Once all of the balls are in, slip on a lid then bring to a simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes or so, taking the lid off towards the end of cooking to reduce the sauce (but this does end up pretty saucy.)

While the meatballs are cooking, 10 minutes towards the end of cooking time, make up the couscous following pack instructions and heat the chickpeas following pack instructions.  Drain the chickpeas and add to the cooked couscous with the vinegar and about a tsp each of chopped mint, parsley and coriander or as much or little of them as you fancy.

If you would like to make this gluten free, why not serve with quinoa?


My (nearly) 3 year old said it was "yummy" when he saw it bubbling in the pan and seemed to enjoy it.

I've entered this into the Bangers and Mash spice trail on cinnamon:


  1. This sounds yummy!! I love the idea of having the meatballs with chickpeas & couscous, as an alternative to pasta!!
    Stopping by from Creative Mondays...have a great week!!

    1. Yeah the flavours are a bit different too. I've also got a more traditional meatball recipe on here too and I've got an idea for fish balls but the family are looking less keen...

  2. Healthy, yummy and beautiful....

    1. Thank you! I'm not 100% sure about the healthy but adding vegetables does reduce the fat and meat content which is a better balance for ourselves and the environment.

  3. Oooh, I love this. Kids and meatballs just do go together don't they?

  4. Oooh, I love this. Kids and meatballs just do go together don't they?

  5. Meatballs are my idea of the perfect comfort food, and lamb with cinnamon is even more comforting. Great entry for The Spice Trail. Thanks for entering.

    1. Thanks. I love the idea of cinnamon and lamb too. The garam masala I use has a pretty strong cinnamon taste too and it's wonderful in lamb curries.


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