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Chickpea Battered Meatballs

This recipe came to me one day while I was at work. We had it that night and everyone seemed to approve.



  • 400 – 500g of good quality mince (I used Beef, but I reckon Lamb would be better still).
  • 1 dessert spoon of Sumac (dried course powder of edible Rhus berries)
  • Two teaspoons of Ras Al Hanout or Baharat spice blend
  • 1 Egg
  • about a Tablespoon of Burghul (cracked wheat – typically used in Tabouli) 2 dessertspoons of plain flour


  • 1 large can of Chick Peas (or you could soak dried ones overnight – in which case, use about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 dessert spoon of Tahini paste (I used the whole tahini, rather than the dehusked variety)
  • 1 dessert spoon of Honey
  • a couple of dessertspoons of SR Flour (variable based on consistency of batter)
  • some milk (variable based on consistency of batter)

Spice Blend:

(any Ras Al Hanout, or Baharat blend would do, but I did the following)

  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds (dry roasted and ground)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of Coriander Seeds (dry roasted and ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Carraway seeds (dry roasted and ground)
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (dry roasted and ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Anise Seeds (dry roasted and ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds (pounded and ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • some salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dutch cinnamon powder (or grind your own)


(really simple, could use fennel bulb, ginger and some other goodies if you’ve got them)

  • 2 large waxy potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • about a head of garlic
  • a large onion
  • 500ml of chicken stock
  • the remaining spice blend (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 dessert spoon of honey
  • some olive oil

Cous Cous:

  • 250g of couscous
  • 3 teaspoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 250ml of boiling water


  • Oil for deep frying


Prepare the spice blend mixing all the ground ingredients together.
Make the batter by putting all the ingredient except the flour and milk in a food processor and blitzing until you have a paste.
Add milk and flour until you have a batter that isn’t too runny. It should be firm and sticky enough to want to stay on things dipped in it, but not overly firm such that you would need to paste it onto things.
Set aside.
Prepare the meatball mince by combining all the ingredients and mixing well.
Refrigerate while you prepare the tagine.
Peel the potatoes and carrot.
Dice the potatoes into 1.5cm blocks
Dice the carrot similarly.
Dice onion into 1cm squares.
Add oil to saucepan with onion, saute until clear.
Add potatoes and carrots and whole garlic cloves (peeled).
Gently saute while water for stock is boiling.
Make stock, add spice blend and honey and pour into saucepan.
Simmer for about 15 mins or until potato is tender, then turn heat to low and stir occasionally (may need additional splash of water now and then to keep it’s consistency).
Now make teaspoon size meatballs from the mince.
Set on a tray awaiting battering and frying.
Batter as many meatballs as will fit in your deep fryer. Place the basket in the oil and add the battered meatballs to the oil. Do not put the meatballs in the basket and then place in the oil as the batter will stick to the basket. Cook until a little darker than golden brown to ensure the mince is cooked all the way through.
Place on a plate covered in paper towel.
Repeat until all meatballs cooked.
In another saucepan, make the cous cous like so:
Put boiling water in pan. Add oil, and salt.
Boil then remove from heat.
Add cous cous, stir with a fork and cover.
Let sit for 2 minutes.
Now add 3 teaspoons of butter and return to low heat, stirring constantly with a fork for 3 minutes.

You’re now ready to serve.
Place cous cous on dinner bowls.
Top with tagine vegetables.
Place 3 – 5 meatballs on top
Whack a dollop of yoghurt in the middle and add some Hilbeh or Red Harrissa to taste.


Hilbeh and Red Harissa are both described in Greg Malouf’s book “Moorish”. If you are interested in Moroccan flavours, this is a book you will want on your bookshelf.


“Moorish – Flavours from Mecca to Marrakash”: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1876719982/davesrecipes-20
Authors: Greg and Lucy Malouf
ISBN: 1-876719-98-2
Published: “Hardie Grant Books”:http://www.hardiegrant.com.au/ , 2001

posted to Moorish,Recipes @ 11:18 pm

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Kabana and Mushroom Waffle with Camembert Cheese | home | Baked Custard Pie