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Syrian Inspired Meatballs

If you feel like dining like a twelfth century Syrian, then try out this recipe from Aleppo's chronicler Ibn al-Adim, updated for our modern kitchens in the wonderful Nutmeg Trail by Eleanor Ford

Prep time: If you have to shell your pistachios 1 hour, if not 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes: 2 main course servings 4 side dish servings

Meatball Ingredients: 225g minced lamb

225g minced chicken

1 1/2tsp salt

1/2tsp cumin 1/2tsp coriander

1/2tsp caraway seeds 1/2tsp black pepper

2tbsp olive oil

3tbsp honey

100g shelled pistachios

Pinch of saffron strands

1/2 lemon

Small handful mint leaves

1tsp rose water

Biwaz Ingredients:

Big Bunch of parsley 1 red onion 1tbsp olive oil 1 1/2tsp pomegrante molasses 1 1/2tsp sumac

1. You crack me up!

As noted above, it really is best to buy pre-shelled pistachios if you can. But if not, this is the first step of the recipe... Crack open and shell those pistachios baby! (This photo makes it look like such a small achievement.... it took so long :') )

2. Take me out to the (meat)ball game

Seeing as minced chicken is hard to come by (at least in Germany) the best step would be to blitz your 225g of chicken in a blender before you combine it with the other ingredients. Once you have your minced chicken, add 225g of minced lamb, 1 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2tsp cumin, 1/2tsp coriander, 1/2tsp of caraway seeds, 1/2tsp of black pepper. Either give this a quick blitz together again or mix together with your hands

Next oil your hands, and start rolling meatballs about the size of walnuts. If you have time, pop them in the fridge for a quick 10 minute cool down so they hold their shape better when cooked

Heat 2tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the meatballs, frying until brown on all sides - this should take around 5 minutes. Add in 75ml of water, 3tbsp of honey and your lovingly shelled 100g of pistachios. Crumble in your saffron, trying not to get too much stuck to your fingers on the way...

Leave these to cook for about 15 minutes shaking occasionally while you prepare the Biwaz salad and ricey, if you'd likey

3. Biwaz did you say to me?!

I said Biwaz is possibly the easiest salad you can make and you're going to love it! Chop up a big bunch of parsley (~50g) coarsely. Add this to a bowl and then thinly slice a red onion. Pop this in the bowl too along with 1tbsp of olive oil, 1 1/2tsp of pomegranate molasses, 1 1/2tsp of sumac and a pinch of salt and mix it all together

Once the meatballs are cooked, sticky and golden bown add the juice of 1/2 lemon, a small handful of mint leaves and 2tsp of rose water. Stir all those gorgeous fragrant flavours through the meatballs

Serve your meatballs alongside the Biwaz and with some rice

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: ""

Kate says: "I got this recipe book for my birthday this year and thus far everything I've made has been great. This dish was no exception. Sweet and fragrant meatballs with a great parsley salad to cut through the richness. I was also surprised how easily and quickly it came together apart from the pistachios - my goodness definitely buy those shelled if you can. I definitely will be making this again, maybe even for a dinner party or something - it is very deep and rich in flavour. 10/10"

.../10 Gasps


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