Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

Lamb meatball & pea pilaf

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(49 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
Meatballs aren't just for pasta dishes. Experiment with this tasty pilaf - a winner for any meatball fan

Nutrition and extra info

  • Raw or cooked meatballs only
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal496
  • fat10g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs72g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre4g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.34g
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  • 400g pack lean minced lamb
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 300g basmati rice
  • enough lamb or vegetable stock to cover the rice, from a cube is fine
  • 300g frozen pea
  • zest 2 lemon, juice of 1



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the cucumber yogurt

  • 1⁄2 cucumber, finely chopped or grated
  • 150ml pot mild natural yogurt
  • small bunch mint, leaves torn



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Mix the lamb with half the garlic and 1 tsp of the cumin, then season and shape into about 16 balls – it’s easier if you wet your hands. Heat a large frying pan (with a lid for later), then fry the meatballs for about 8 mins until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan, set aside, then tip in the rice, final tsp of cumin and remaining garlic. Fry for 30 secs, stirring, then pour in enough stock to cover. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.

  2. Stir in the peas, return the meatballs to the pan, then warm through for a few mins until the peas are tender. Meanwhile mix the cucumber, yogurt and half the mint together, then season. To finish the pilaf, stir in the lemon zest and juice with some seasoning and the remaining mint. Serve with a good dollop of the cooling cucumber yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Nov, 2010
We love this in our house, quick and easy to make and delicious to eat! I add a morrocan spice mix or curry spice to the meatballs for a variation, but the original is good. Not keen on lemony flavours in savoury dishes so only add 1/4 of lemon juice and no zest and still yummy!
10th Nov, 2010
We love this recipe, it gets the thumbs up from my children and so we cook it regularly!
19th Oct, 2010
Really tasty dish - loved by all members of the family.
17th Jun, 2010
Brilliant mid week meal for the family, even though I cheated and did boil in the bag rice with egg, peas, cumin & garlic. Very nice. Plus a tip for rollng the meatballs, coat your hands in some olive oil!!
30th Apr, 2010
Was convinced this was going to be terrible but it was great! Delicious, even the yoghurt dip (left out the mint as we're not keen) was nice and I never like that sort of thing. Agree with Badders, the amount of lemon seemed excessive to I put only a couple of teaspoons of the rind/juice mix and it was still lovely. Would also leave out the rind next time (husband not keen on lemony flavours so the rind wasnt good for him). But on the whole this was a good recipe and has been added to my list of recipes to make regularly!
17th Apr, 2010
This is the best recipe I have found on the site so far. Have made twice, once for me and my other half, and once for when friends came over, and both times it went down a treat (especially with my man, who has been starved of kebabs since we both started eating healthier, and thinks this is the next best thing!) I usually make this with a mixture of basmati and wild rice to make it a bit more interesting, go easy on the lemon juice and keep tasting til it's just right, serve it with mini poppadoms and the cucumber yoghurt and it is soooo good. Definitely better than takeaway.
4th Apr, 2010
My boyfriend loved this recipe. Do keep an eye on your rice. I didn't fancy it being too al dente, so just added stock twice so that the rice really plumped up. Very very tasty. Also I used raita instead of making the sauce because I was very lazy, but it worked a treat. Boyfriend is begging for more!
6th Nov, 2009
Not impressive at all. I have on a bit of a pilaf bender, testing all of the recipes on the site and this one was rather dull. I like rice and meatballs, but this match was not made in heaven
6th Aug, 2009
This dish was far too lemony (and I only included 1/2 the lemon rind scecified in recipe)! It is a real shame as I feel this dish would have benefited from just juice and no rind. On the plus side, the cooling cucumber yogurt was actually very nice - and this is coming from someone who doesn't generally go for yoghurt dips. I did follow the above advice (from Tim Evans) to halve the quantity of cucumber.
27th May, 2009
added some harissa in the lamb mince to give the meatballs a bit of spice. what a treat! really easy dish.


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