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Moroccan lamb meatballs with harissa & couscous

Moroccan lamb meatballs with harissa & couscous

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • Plus chilling
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

All the flavours of a tagine in meatball form, with the kick of homemade harissa and a cooling dollop of yogurt

  • Freezable (Only the meatballs can be frozen)
low insalt0.84g


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seed
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • 500g lamb mince
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • 20g pack mint , most leaves chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 150ml natural yogurt , to serve

For the couscous

  • 300g couscous
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp harissa - shop-bought or see below, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat a heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the spices to the pan then toast for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Crush using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp water and the garlic and stir well. Add the lamb, lemon juice, crushed spices, egg most of the mint. Season well. Mix well then shape into 16 balls. Chill for a good 30 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the balls for 6-7 mins, turning now and then, until golden brown and cooked. Keep warm. Put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then rub in the butter and harissa. Pour over 400ml boiling water, cover and leave for 10 mins. Fluff up and season. Shred the remaining mint, then mix through. Serve with harissa and yogurt.


Put 2 tbsp each coriander, fennel and cumin seeds into a hot, dry pan. Toast for 2 mins until fragrant. Grind until fine in pestle and mortar. Wipe out pan, add 50ml olive oil, gently fry 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped red onion, 1 chopped red pepper and 6 fat red deseeded chopped chillies until soft. Mix spices and veg in food processor and blend to smooth paste. Leftovers will keep in fridge for up to a week, covered with layer of oil.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2009

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A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.50 ratings

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