Leftovers are great in a pite bread with coleslaw. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs With Baba Ghanoush

Homemade meatballs make a deliciously simple midweek meal, or a savoury snack if you feel so inclined

These very versatile meatballs can be served pre-dinner on a skewer or as a meal. Try tossing them into a spaghetti and tomato sauce or stuff them into pita with a good coleslaw. To prevent the meat sticking to your hands when rolling the meatballs, dampen your hands to make the job much easier. Get this done ahead of time then whip them out and cook just before serving.

Serves 6

1 eggplant
500g lamb mince
1 small onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground allspice
Pinch cayenne
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chopped coriander

Baba Ghanoush
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve
Combine ½ cup yoghurt with ¼ cup chopped coriander
Pita or flatbread

1. On a gas element char the eggplant, turning slowly until roasted through. Alternatively bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. To make the meatballs, into a kitchen processor place the mince, onion, garlic, cumin, allspice, cayenne, salt and coriander blitzing until well combined. Roll into walnut-sized balls.

3. To cook the balls heat a frying pan to a medium heat. Brown the balls all over and place on a baking tray. Finish in the oven for 10 minutes just before serving.

4. Scoop the inside of the eggplant into the kitchen processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and whizz.

5. To serve, spread the baba ghanoush on a plate. Top with meatballs and a dollop of yoghurt. Scoop on to a warmed flatbread, wrap and enjoy.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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