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
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
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
1. Mix Minted Yoghurt Sauce ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for 20 + minutes.
2. Place Meatball ingredients EXCEPT OIL in a bowl. Mix well.
3. Measure out 1 heaped tablespoon, then roll into balls. Repeat with remaining mixture.
4. 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).
5. 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.
1. This recipe is also terrific with beef, and very good with chicken and turkey. No recipe adjustments. If baking the chicken or turkey meatballs, spray VERY well with oil!
2. Suggested sides if you opt out of the pita pockets: The Shredded Red Cabbage, Carrot and Mint Salad is great as a side salad as well, this Middle Eastern chopped salad (skip the chickpeas), Israeli Couscous Salad, Pico de Gallo (I know it's Mexican but the flavours are terrific paired with Middle Eastern), just the rice in this baked Chicken & Rice recipe, Chargrilled Vegetables, Lemon Pilaf (fab pairing!), this Chickpea Rice Pilaf, Fattoush. Because the meatballs are heavily spiced, opt for sides with fresh flavours.
3. Nutrition for meatballs and yoghurt sauce, assuming all the sauce is consumed which it may not be. Also assumes no fat is drained off but I usually discard about 1 tbsp at the end of cooking so the calories will be lower than stated.