North African Meatballs

  • Servings: MAKES 12 MEATBALLS

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  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa or other red chile paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for sautéing

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the vegetable-spice mixture into a medium bowl and let cool.

  2. Add the ground beef to the bowl, along with the parsley, cilantro, mint, egg whites, salt, harissa and pepper and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Divide the meat mixture into 12 equal portions, roll into balls and set on a large plate.

  3. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the meatballs and sauté over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain the meatballs on paper towels, then serve.

Serve With

Couscous, chickpeas and grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers.

Contributed By Published May 2000

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