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Moroccan Meatballs with Spicy Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

Moroccan Meatballs with Spicy Eggplant and Tomato Sauce


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Meatballs

Seasoned with traditional Moroccan spices like cumin and cinnamon, the meatballs soak up the gingery, smoky sauce. The sauce is delicious by itself served with couscous or orzo, or tucked into pita bread.

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 1 slice Italian white bread with a soft crust, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 pounds ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the spicy eggplant sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped
  • 1 large purple eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • Two 14 1/2-ounce cans chopped tomatoes with their juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Servings4

Calories Per Serving537

Folate equivalent (total)68µg17%

Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg40.1%


Grilled Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

I have a quirky habit of perusing the Internet late at night in search of gently used cookbooks to add to my collection. I always find great buys — beautifully photographed books that have barely been opened — and it’s such a treat when they arrive on my doorstep, full of inspiration.

One of my recent finds is Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner? I’m slowly cooking my way through the book and this recipe is one of my favorites. Ground beef is laced with warm spices, fresh herbs, and garlic, and then grilled in meatball form until smoky and charred. Served over couscous with a cooling yogurt-cucumber sauce, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s big on flavor.


Zaalouk–Cooked Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Christine Benlafquih / The Spruce

Zaalouk is a delicious cooked salad made with eggplant (aubergines), tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices. It's a common side dish to many meals and is usually served as a dip with crusty bread.


Moroccan recipes

Exotic North African dishes that are big on flavour, aroma and spice. Try an easy chicken tagine, or roll up some Speedy Moroccan meatballs.

Moroccan meatball tagine with lemon & olives

A wonderfully aromatic North African lamb casserole with a citrus tang - great for dinner parties

Aromatic lamb with dates

A warming one-pot with a Moroccan feel, perfect served with couscous

Pumpkin, cranberry & red onion tagine

Comfort food without the calories, easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd

Moroccan spiced fish with ginger mash

Spice up white fish fillets with a flavoured butter and serve with fluffy sweet potato mash

Moroccan harira

This is a healthy vegetarian version of the classic Moroccan soup with plenty of cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, each offering different health benefits, plus it's low in fat and calories too


Other Ways To Cook

Slow cooker

Follow the instructions for forming the meatballs but place in your slow cooker instead. Cover with the sauce and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

Pressure cooker

Add your sauce to the pot first, then place the trivet inside the instant pot. Place the meatballs on the trivet. Cook on the manual setting on high for 7 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally before removing the lid, this step takes about 10 minutes.


Moroccan Inspired Meatballs with Eggplant in Tomato Sauce

Makes a generous portion for 4

A handful of fresh, finely chopped coriander or parsley

6 sulphur-free dried apricots

Use a scissor in a cup to quickly chop up your coriander or parsley.

In a big bowl add the garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, breadcrumbs, egg, fresh parsley/coriander and the beef or lamb. Mix it all well together and get ready to get your hands dirty! Roll into small meatballs. I was able to get 20 meatballs out of this portion.

Wash an aubergine and chop off the top. Slice into rings, then stack and chop into small cubes. Try and make them as equal in size as possible.

Heat up a pot so it’s nice and warm. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Fry your meatballs so they are brown on all sides. This will add a nice rich flavor to the stew. Once the meatballs are browned, add the chopped aubergine, the pureed tomato and the water. Cover and simmer for 15 or so minutes. The aubergine will let off a lot of water in this process. Uncover and simmer for 15 more minutes. You can leave for longer if you want a richer flavor to develop.

Cook the bulgur according to the directions on the packet. Meanwhile, chop up your apricots finely. Once the bulgur is cooked, add the chopped apricots and mix.

You’re ready to serve! This is the perfect comfort bowl meal, so serve it up and garnish with some coriander or parsley.


If you love this recipe.

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrots

1-Pot Spiced Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant

Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils


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Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce

Meatballs in a red sauce are a classic combo that pops up in cuisines all over the world, from Italian pork meatballs in marinara sauce to Spanish albóndigas in chunky romesco sauce. Although meatballs are not a traditional dish of Morocco, the presence of mint, parsley, cinnamon and cumin in these gives them a strong North African accent. If you make a double batch, you’ll have leftovers for a quick weeknight meal later this month. The tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. The meatballs can be formed and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours before transferring to a sealable plastic bag. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (28 oz./875 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint leaves

For the meatballs:

  • Olive oil for greasing
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz./280 g) Israeli couscous

1. To make the tomato sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and sauté just until the ginger and garlic are soft and the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices and the brown sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce darkens in color and thickens a bit, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the mint. Reduce the heat to low and cover to keep warm.

2. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

3. In a bowl, combine the lamb, parsley, egg, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic powder and oregano. Using your hands, mix gently until combined (do not overmix). Season well with salt and pepper. Form the lamb mixture into meatballs about the size of a golf ball, arranging them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet as you work. Transfer to the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.

4. While the meatballs are baking, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Cover to keep warm.

5. Spoon the couscous, tomato sauce and meatballs into shallow bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Find ways to make hectic suppers into fun, relaxed gatherings that
the whole family can enjoy in our cookbook School Night , by Kate McMillan.


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This was good. The top layer of matzo could have been left off.

WOW this is a winner ! I used more of the spices and substituted a no-cook lasagne for the matzo and just poured the sauce over the dish for the final cooking. this is saved in my recipe box and will be made again soon.

Despite taking a very long time (almost 3 hours with prep work), this recipe was great and I would definitely make it again. I did not soak the matzohs and I'm glad I didn't because I think they would have turned to mush. I also added a bit more sugar to the tomato sauce. I'm a whimp when it comes to spicy food, so I used a bit less cayenne in the sauce, and still thought it was spicy on its own, but with everything else it was great! A great meal for leftovers too!

Our friends don't eat lamb so I used ground turkey and ground beef. It was very good, but next time I will use the ground lamb. I will try this using homemade pasta sheets after Passover. When using Kosher meat, check the amount of salt used as the meat is soaked in salt water for kashering purposes.

Very flavorful. Took a little longer than anticipated, but it was worth the time and effort.

The flavors of this dish were amazing. I especially loved the spicy tomato sauce (although I used a bit less salt) I was thinking the sauce would go well as a meal itself if you added some shrimp and served it with rice. The only reason I didn't rate this pie 4 forks is because of the matzos. The texture became a bit too mushy in spots and it added a bland cracker like taste. I think I'll try it next time with the mashed potato crust as another reviewer mentioned.

Served this as a lasagna for a small dinner party to rave reviews. (Always good to check beforehand if people like lamb though!) It would be usedful for someone to write an alternative recipe for lasagna to eliminate guesswork. Used Epicurious Gourmet recipe of 4/98 for the Ras- el-Hanout. I wonder why recipe specified whole tomatoes when canned diced/chopped are readily available. The instructions should have had a step for removing the fat from the ground lamb saute - which I did easy enough with a grease separator. I sprinkled a little feta on the top of the lasagna before baking and had more to add on the side after serving. I agree that I could have eliminated the cayenne from the sauce recipe. I like strong seasoning but the cayenne tried to overwhelm the other great flavors and spices in the recipe. Would not use it next time.

We really liked this recipe even though we are vegetarian- I used Morning Star Farms Griller Crumbles instead of lamb and seasoned according to the recipe. I also made a mashed potato crust instead of the matzo with eggs, butter, mashed potatoes (powdered was very quick) cracker crumbs and parm cheese. My husband loved it and ate half the pan!

This one's a keeper! Very exotic and flavorful. Can't wait to try it with regular lasagna noodles.

Have made this for Passover and loved it but am wondering if anyone has ever tried using phyllo or puff pastry for the crust (of course not during Passover).

Excellent, worth the effort. Don't skimp on the oil. In Morocco they use much more than we are used to. Just drain the lamb very well.

as the forks say, i liked it i didn't love it. I cut back on the oil usage, draining off almost all after browning the lamb. 3 Tbs. is way too much for anything like this. Followed exactly otherwise, just ok. not amazing like some of the other reviewers. Would like more of a intense moroccan feel.

This review is just about the lamb filling part of the recipe. I layered it over oven-baked sliced, oiled potatoes and broiled, oiled egglant slices, then baked the whole thing for 1.5 hours. It is absolutely fantastic, even better after an overnight in the refrigerator. Yum.

I make this every year for Passover. My husband goes nuts over this dish. It's a keeper!

I made this in college for friends during passover and it was really good. Now I make it with lasagne noodles and I think it is even better. And Morocco is the most north west country in Africa, located in the region referred to as West Africa.

Sorry to get into commenting on other rater's comments, but to the reviewer, who said Morocco isn't in the Middle East, it's in West Africa, shouldn't you get your facts straight before correcting others? Last I heard, Morocco was in North Africa.

After making this recipe for Passover, I've made it several times as a lasagna with fresh pasta sheets. It comes out delicious and is a good all-year recipe.

Morocco is in West Africa, not in Middle East!

This is really a 3.5 fork recipe. I made a half a pan of this for a Passover mid week dinner and my husband loved it! It is hard to find recipes that incorporate matzo and are so flavorful. This will become a standard mid week Passover dish at our house (and it will replace my matzo lasagnas!)

This was outstanding. I drained the excess grease after browning the lamb. The spice mixture was the key, and it was fun to use matzo in a recipe, rather than just eating it plain. When Passover is over, my husband wants me to try it with some shredded mozzarella, like a lasagna. Oy vey!

This was a flavorful Passover dish. I was amazed that the lamb did not even taste like lamb, I loved it. Because lamb can sometimes be greasy, I would brown it first and get rid of the fat before mixing it to tomatoes, like another reader suggested.

A wonderfully exotic (yet at the sane time familiar) blend of spices (the ras-el-hanout was from a local Moroccan chef who brings it from home every year). Yes, serve the sauce on the side. Dishes like this are what make Passover so special.

This is the best darn Passover dish I've ever had, and I don't even like lamb! My husband has been begging me to make it again since last Passover-it will definitely be a second night tradition in our house for many years to come. I am a food columnist for our newspaper, and usually fiddle with most recipes, this one was perfect as is. The Moroccan spice blend is the exotic factor that raises this dish from ordinary to extaordinary!

looking forward to making this soon. a question for those who have already made this- did you pour the tomato sauce over the top of the dish, or serve it in a separate bowl for people to add themsevles. Thanks!

I make this dish all the time - usually without the matzoh but with rice on the side. I like the spice mixture so i double that. I probably add a little extra eggplant as well. It is delicious.



Comments:

  1. Farhan

    Nice selection of thanks !!! I'll throw off a couple for my collection)))

  2. Abbudin

    In my opinion it is not logical

  3. Taura

    It agrees, this entertaining opinion

  4. Mezihn

    It's incredible!

  5. Faelkis

    Lucky!

  6. Lawly

    Not an expert?

  7. Dimi

    In my opinion you commit an error. Let's discuss.



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