Ingredients (serves 6):
- 150g / 1 cup basmati rice
- 100g / 2/3 cup green lentils or yellow split peas
- 500g / 1 lb quality lamb mince
- handful fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- handful fresh dill, finely chopped.
- handful fresh chives, snipped
- handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 3 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 large onions, 1 finely chopped, 1 sliced into thin half moons
- 2 handfuls fresh or dried cranberries
- 3 medium free range eggs
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 400g / 1 regular tin chopped tomatoes
1. Fill a large saucepan with 1 L (4 cups) water and put over a medium-high heat until boiling. Season with a sprinkling of salt and add the rice. Boil for 7 minutes, drain and set aside to cool. Repeat the process with the lentils in 1.5 L (6 cups) water: bring to the boil, add the lentils, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice and lentils, minced lamb, herbs, flour, 2 tsp of the turmeric, 1 finely chopped onion, cranberries, eggs and a season with pepper and salt. Mix well. Shape the mixture (it should be relatively sticky) into about 12 tennis ball-shaped meatballs.
3. Add the olive oil to a pan and fry the thinly sliced onion rings over a medium-low heat for about 8 minutes or until they start to brown slightly. Add the remaining 1 tsp turmeric and the garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and mix well.
4. Pour in 1 L (4 cups) of water into the pan. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. One by one, add each meatball carefully into the pan and let simmer over a low heat for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. Only partially cover the pan with the lid.
5. Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs and a side salad.
Recipe by Sabrina Ghayour in Delicious Magazine (March 2015).