Al­ge­rian meat­balls with chick­peas and turmeric

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - The Cut | Food -

Serves 4

This recipe is broadly based on the Al­ge­rian dish of mtewem. Serve with a chopped salad (cu­cum­ber, toma­toes, red onion, cab­bage and pars­ley is good) and orange wedges.

— 400g minced beef or lamb

— 1 large egg

— 6 gar­lic cloves, peeled

and finely chopped

— 2 tsp ground cumin

— 3 tbsp olive oil

— 1 onion, peeled and

finely diced

— 2 tsp sweet pa­prika

— 1 tsp ground turmeric

— 1 tsp tomato purée

— 1 x 400g can chick­peas,

drained and rinsed

— small bunch of flat-leaf pars­ley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

— hand­ful of flaked al­monds,

lightly toasted

In a bowl, mix to­gether the mince, egg, half the gar­lic, half the cumin, half a tea­spoon of salt and plenty of black pep­per. Shape the mix­ture into ap­prox­i­mately 20 meat­balls the size of ping-pong balls.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick fry­ing pan over a mod­er­ate to high heat. Add the meat­balls and fry for five min­utes, un­til browned all over. It’s best to do this in batches, re­serv­ing each on a plate as you cook the next.

Re­duce the heat and cook the onion in the same pan for 8-10 min­utes, un­til soft­ened.

Add the re­main­ing gar­lic and cumin, along with the pa­prika and turmeric, and cook for a minute more. Then add the tomato purée and chick­peas and re­turn the meat­balls to the pan.

Pour in enough wa­ter to just cover the meat­balls, bring to a sim­mer, re­duce the heat and cook for 20 min­utes, so the meat is cooked and ten­der.

If the meat­balls are ready, but the sauce is thin, re­move them from the pan and set aside. Con­tinue re­duc­ing the sauce un­til it has thick­ened and is rich-tast­ing. Sea­son well, then rein­tro­duce the meat­balls. Add the pars­ley and toasted al­monds, then serve.

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