500 grams turkey mince
1 small onion cut in quarters
1 large onion chopped
1 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic
2-3 red chillies (optional)
3 tsp coriander seeds ground
1 handful of fresh coriander leaves
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black ground pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 fresh finely chopped fresh tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
Olive oil spray
1/2 cup split yellow lentils
Serves: Makes approximately 21 meatballs depending on the size and shape you choose to make them in.
1. Making the meat ball.
In a food processor add egg, chillies, fresh coriander, salt, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds, the black pepper and process until ingredients form a coarse paste. Add the small onion and pulse until onion is finely chopped but not completely dissolved.
In a bowl add the mince, the paste mixture, bread crumb and mix well. Get a handful of mince and try to form into a ball. If it forms then it’s ready if not add a little more bread crumb until you can make a ball.
Cover and place in the fridge for approx. 30 mins.
2. Making the base sauce
In a heavy set pan add 5 tablespoons olive oil and the large chopped onion with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.
Add the turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon and cook until spices are aromatic. Add tomato and tomato paste and stir cooking until oils separate from the mixture.
Add 1 cup chicken stock and simmer until the onions and tomato are cooked through and the oil is separating from the mixture. Turn off the sauce.
Put the yellow split lentils in a microwave safe bowl and cover with 3 cms of water. Put a paper towel over the top (see photo) so the steam doesn’t kill your microwave. Ensure you have space at the top of the bowl because the water will bubble over. Microwave for around 6 - 10 minutes or until the lentils are cooked but not falling apart. Rinse and set aside.
3. Mixing the sauce and the meatballs
Add the yellow lentils to the sauce. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and turn to low heat.
Put a frying pan over low to medium heat and spray with olive oil. Take about a tablespoon of the mince and roll into a ball. You can also slightly flatten or make it smaller balls. It’s up to you.
Brown the meatballs in the frying pan on all sides. Spray more oil as needed.
As you brown each meatball add it to the base sauce.
When all the meatballs are done, cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes. It should gently simmer. Occasionally give it a gentle stir to stop the bottom from burning. Cook until meatballs are cooked through, they will harden. The oil should be separating from the sauce.
Serve with white Afghan rice, steamed brown rice or steamed green beans.
Get the recipe for white afghan rice and other dishes from my website