Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME - WORDS: VICKI TAY­LOR

Rice – you ei­ther love it or hate it. I spent many years back­pack­ing the globe and that was our sta­ple diet on many a nights, de­pend­ing on our bud­get. Then we came to Morocco and I dis­cov­ered couscous.

To be hon­est, I’m still a bit “riced out” but I do love couscous. It ab­sorbs so much flavour and takes noth­ing to cook. Add any spice to it and it tastes so ex­otic.

With win­ter here I’m still lov­ing cook­ing Mid­dle East­ern dishes and have been play­ing around with a few recipes lately.

Here’s one that I did last week and I tweaked again on the week­end and it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter whether you use pork, lamb or beef mince, it’s en­tirely up to you and what you pre­fer. En­joy!

Per­sian meat­balls with tahini and nut sauce

Serves 4

3 tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil


500g minced lamb, pork or beef

1 large onion, finely chopped or grated 3 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped or grated 2 tsp Red Hot Chilli Pep­per Ba­harat spice 1 egg

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pep­per


30g sliv­ered al­monds, toasted 30g pine nuts, toasted 4 tbsp tahini paste (prefer­ably un­hulled) 100ml cream

50ml wa­ter

1 gar­lic clove, chopped or grated

Zest from 1 lime

Lime juice from half a lime


Couscous, cooked (one cup dried couscous will be am­ple for four peo­ple when cooked.) Fresh whole co­rian­der leaves or fresh mint leaves

Lime wedges

A sprin­kling of su­mac

Ex­tra whole toasted pine nuts and sliv­ered al­monds for sprin­kling


In a bowl hand mix all the meat­ball in­gre­di­ents to­gether. Roll into roughly 16 balls and set aside

Add crushed gar­lic clove and toasted sliv­ered al­monds and pine nuts to a mor­tar and pes­tle and crush roughly

In a sep­a­rate pot whisk, cream, tahini paste, cream, wa­ter, zest and lime juice to­gether.

Taste for sea­son­ing and ad­just to your lik­ing then heat gently on medium heat un­til gently sim­mer­ing.

Heat oil in a large fry pan and cook the meat­balls over medium heat, turn­ing of­ten un­til brown all over which will take about 7 min­utes.

Serve couscous in bowls and ar­range meat­balls on top. Pour over sauce, sprin­kle with re­main­ing pine nuts, sliv­ered al­monds, su­mac and fresh herb leaves.

Add lime wedges on the side and serve im­me­di­ately.

Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pep­per, 9/65 Bul­cock St, Caloun­dra


TASTE: Pages 9-11

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