Syrian Meatballs

There are a couple of Syrian brothers I talk to on a regular basis, good guys who are so very, very happy not to be in Syria. They are in the food industry locally so I usually hit them up for authentic Syrian recipes, which I invariably change to make more healthy. Its the flavour I’m interested in, other people can fret over the authenticity.

Here is one I recently learned from the Brothers. These are typically made with lamb, beef or some combination thereof but I subbed for a chicken-turkey combo. Also they used butter, I subbed with olive oil.

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Spice Mix

  •  1T Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 T Ground Allspice
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 t Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg

Meatballs

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken (original recipe, beef)
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey (original recipe, lamb)
  • 1/3 C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 T olive oil (original recipe, butter)

Sauce

  • 2-3 C Tomato, fresh, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • Spice Mix
  • Chopped Cilantro
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Combine Spice Mix ingredients put aside.

Combine meatball ingredients, minus oil and shape into 1″ ball. Heat oil over medium high heat, add meatballs and brown on all sides – about 5-7 minutes. Remove meatballs to plate.

In the same pan add onions and sautee until golden, add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs, stir to coat, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add Spice Mix but before you do …

Note: You might want to start with just 1-2 t of Spice Mix to see how you like it, the flavours are strong. I added the lot without so much as a thought; tastes vary.

Add spice mix, stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add cilantro, stir, then serve immediately with Basmati.

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