North African Meatballs



  1. 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  2. 3/4 cup minced onion
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1 pound ground beef
  10. 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  11. 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  12. 2 tablespoons minced mint
  13. 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  14. 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  15. 1 teaspoon harissa or other red chile paste
  16. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  17. Vegetable oil, for sautéing
  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.