Lamb meatballs in harissa with salted cucumbers
- January 2016
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 35 min
Middle-Eastern-spiced lamb pairs with salted cucumber, mint and chilli sauce in this flavour-packed lamb meatball recipe.
Wondering what to do with the remaining harissa? We’ve got some nifty ways to use up leftover harissa, here.
- Gluten-free recipes
- 23.5g (8.6g saturated)
- 2.7g (2g sugars)
For the salted cucumber
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
For the meatballs
- 500g British lamb mince
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- Grated zest 1 lemon
- Splash vegetable oil for frying
For the chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp harissa (we like Belazu)
- Juice 1 lemon
- Glug argan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- Yogurt and fresh mint to serve
- Put the cucumber in a sieve set over a deep bowl, scatter the sea salt over it, toss, then leave for 30 minutes. Toss occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl, season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Shape into 20-24 meatballs the size of walnuts and set aside.
- For the chilli sauce, stir the harissa, lemon juice and oil together in a small bowl (see tip). Taste and season – it should be on the sharp side.
- Heat a large frying pan with a splash of vegetable oil. When hot, fry the meatballs over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Put most of the chilli sauce into a wide bowl, add the meatballs and toss to coat. Leave them for 2-3 minutes to soak in the sauce and cool down a little.
- Meanwhile, rinse the cucumber and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread a thick layer of yogurt onto a serving platter, scatter over the cucumber and mint, then add the meatballs. Spoon over more of the chilli sauce (serve the rest alongside in a bowl)
Harissa brands vary in heat, so add half the quantity and taste, then add as needed.
Make the meatballs up to 48 hours in advance, ￼without frying, then chill, covered. Or freeze on trays, then bag up for up to 1 month. Defrost before continuing with the recipe.
Argan oil is made from the toasted nuts of the Moroccan argan tree. It has a unique taste, but it’s pricey: available from ottolenghi.co.uk and other online suppliers – or use quality olive oil.
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