Sunday, 12 October 2014

Harissa meatballs with black eyed beans


For the meat balls;

500g minced beef
1 tsp of Harissa paste or dry Harissa spice
1tsp of pomegranate seeds (get from most Indian shops)
1tsp of tandoori spice mix
2 chopped green chillies
4 sprigs of thyme (remove from stalk and only use the leaves)
1 diced medium size red onion 
Small bunch of chopped coriander and parsley
1 minced garlic
1 duck egg (optional) You can use any egg  but I prefer the light and fluffiness that duck eggs lend to the dish.
A pinch of salt to taste
1/2 a tsp of freshly ground black pepper

For the beans
300g cooked black eyed beans
1 medium red onion
1 tsp of cumin
2 chopped green chillies
1tsp of coconut oil

For the Sumac raw salsa
Dice 3 large sized sun ripened juicy tomato
A small bunch of chopped parsley 
1 small diced red onion
3 tsp of extra virgin oil
1 chopped green chilli ( you can deseed the chillies to remove it's hotness and enjoy it's subtle kick) 
Personally I prefer the extra kick
Dice half a cucumber
1 tsp of Sauvignon Blanc vinegar ( I got mine from Sainsbury's) or any other white vinegar 
1 tsp of Sumac


In a bowl add the minced meat, pomegranate seeds, tandoori spice, Harissa spice, diced onions, chillies, minced garlic, coriander and parsley. 

Add the duck egg and using your fingers mix everything together till it's well combined and all the herbs and spices are evenly distributed. 

Roll the mix into a big ball. Using a table spoon (to help create an even sized meat balls), scoop a mixture and roll in between your palm to create medium sized balls as below

You should get 20 or 21 (in my case) individual portions of meat balls which will comfortably feed 4. 
Let the meat balls rest for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to permeate and also bring it to room temperature.

In a pre heated oven grill of gas mark 200*c, place the meat balls in the middle of your oven grill and cook for 7 minutes. Leave the meat to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the meat balls to a separate bowl and don't discard the meat juices. We will be using the juicies later.


Place a saucepan on a medium heat with the coconut oil. Once the oil is medium hot add the diced onion and cook for about a minute. Add the chillies and fry for a further minute. Add the cumin and cook for 30 sec. 

Add the beans and it's juices to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and pour the mixture into the meat juices.

Mix the beans and juices together.

For the Raw Sumac salsa combine all the ingredients apart from the sumac in a bowl. Mix well and sprinkle the sumac on top and serve.

Mix together the beans, Sumac salsa and  meatballs. Serve with your favourite white or red. Best still freshly brewed Palm Wine (African things) . 

Voila! Enjoy and please don't forget to leave a review of the recipe. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Recipe for Lamb and Paneer Sagwala

 Serves 6

Spice Mix:

3 Cardamoms
1 teaspoon of Coriander Seeds
2 Cloves
1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
1/4 of a teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon of Carom Seeds

1 large size Onions
 100g of Ginger
2 cloves of Garlic
3 Green Chillies
A small bunch of coriander

2 tablespoon of Sunflower oil
2 tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoon of sea salt
2 large bags of spinach
200g Paneer (Cut into cubes)
1kg of diced lamb preferably with bones

3 cups of basmati rice
5 cups of vegetable stock / Water
100g of peeled and chopped Pistachio nuts
4g of Saffron
3 Cardamoms
1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
1 Diced medium size onion





In a saucepan warm the spice mix to release it's oils. Once you can smell the spice (which should not take more than 2 minutes), quickly take it off the heat and pour into a mortar and pestle, (Please keep an eye on it or else it will burn ) 

Roughly bash the spices and pour into a blender. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and some little liquid to form a paste.

Marinate the lamb for at least an hour in the paste.  On a medium heat, melt the butter with oil, add the marinated lamb and cook on a medium heat for an hour or until tender but with a little bite. 


Then add the paneer and cook for a further 5 minutes until the cheese is cooked through. 

In a separate saucepan sweat half a diced onion and the green chillies on a medium heat for about a minute. Wash your spinach, coriander and wilt them in the mix.

Blend the spinach mix into a smooth paste.  

Add the Spinach blend to the meat and cook for a further minute.                           

Wash your rice in a colander under a running tap for about 2 minutes. 
Melt the butter and oil together on a medium heat for about a minute, then add the onions. Cook gently for another minute then add the cumin, cloves and cardamom . Fry for a further half a minute and add the washed rice to the mix. 
Stir the rice into the mix and fry for a further 3 minutes. ( Stir your rice to avoid it sticking to the bottom of your pan). 

Warm your vegetable stock or water and gently pour half into the rice mix, this might bubble, so be cautious. Add a further quarter of the juice and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down and cook for about 12 minutes. (The juice would've evaporated by now)

Then sprinkle the saffron onto the rice and add the remaining stock or water. Cover ad cook for a further 15 minutes and turn the heat off. 

Serve your rice and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and a portion of the Lamb Sagwala. Best served with a cold beer. Enjoy!

Don't forget to leave a review for the recipe, when you try it.