Spicy meatball tagine with bulghar & chickpeas

Spicy meatball tagine with bulghar & chickpeas

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins plus chilling

Easy

Serves 4

Who knew meatballs could be 4 of your 5-a-day? This healthy tagine is full of flavour and low on fat, just make sure you choose a lean mince with 5% fat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal484
  • fat12g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre15g
  • protein40g
  • salt1.1g
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Ingredients

  • 2 onions, 1 quartered, 1 halved and sliced
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 500g pack extra-lean beef mince
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 4 large carrots, cut into batons
    Carrot

    Carrot

    ka-rot

    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, zest removed with a potato peeler, then chopped
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

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

  • 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • ⅓ pack fresh coriander, chopped

For the bulghar

  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander

Method

  1. Put the quartered onion in the food processor and process to finely chop it. Add the minced beef, 1 tbsp tomato purée, the garlic, egg and chilli powder and blitz to make a smoothish paste. Divide the mixture into 26 even-sized pieces and roll into balls.

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 5-10 mins to lightly brown them. Tip from the pan onto a plate.

  3. Now add the sliced onion and carrots to the pan and stir fry briefly in the pan juices to soften them a little. Add the spices and pour in the tomatoes with 1 ½ cans of water then stir in the chopped lemon zest, remaining tomato purée, olives and bouillon powder. Return the meatballs to the pan then cover and cook for 15 mins until the carrots are just tender. Stir in the coriander.

  4. While the tagine is cooking, tip the bulghar into a pan with the chickpeas and water from the can. Add 2 cans of water, the bouillon and coriander. Cover and cook for 10 mins until the bulghar is tender and the liquid had been absorbed. If you're doing the Healthy Diet Plan (serving two people), serve half with half of the tagine and chill the remainder for another night if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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MCP
1st Mar, 2017
5.05
As I've only got a stick blender I only whizzed the onion and garlic, so the meat balls didn't hold together very well, but it was still tasty. As I'm only cooking for one I've now got three portions in the freezer for future meals.
hazelsimpson
9th Jan, 2017
2.55
I thought this was pretty good, enjoyed the Bulgar wheat mixed with the chick peas. I cooked it with some vegetable stock for a bit more flavour. The meatballs were a bit dry, might have been overcooked (I baked them in the oven) or choice of meat. It looked great with some baby spinach sandwiched between the bulgur and the meatball mix. Kids however sent most of it back and asked what was for pudding.. fail!
Angharad1313
7th Jan, 2017
3.8
This is tasty and easy. Be gentle with the meatballs (I left them longer than I would mince before moving gently for the first time so they cook all the way around without breaking) and it was a bit watery so use less water in the sauce and for the bulghar wheat.
laurawd
6th Jan, 2017
5.05
I failed miserably at getting the meatballs to hold together so ended up just breaking them up and making it like a bolognese. It was delicious, both myself and my fiancé agreed it was the tastiest meal of the 7 day diet plan we'd had and so filling. If, like me, you're not keen on lemon zest don't leave it out, it really does add something to the recipe and I'm so glad I kept it in. Looking forward to Saturday night when we get to have the other half!
edinburgh_col
4th Jan, 2017
This recipe isn't bad as it stands, the flavours are good but only after some tweaking. I think 1.5 cans of water for the sauce is far too much, requiring you to boil it off or add some cornflour to thicken it up. I'd suggest adding half to three quarters of a can, adding more only if needed. The other thing I'd say is that the spices used are a little unadventurous - I added cumin, cinnamon and paprika. Add some salt and pepper too - the meatballs, sauce and bulgur need it. And don't add a tablespoon of chilli powder as per the recipe - a teaspoon or less is more than enough, especially if using hot chilli powder! Finally, I'd say cooking the bulgur like it was rice, boiling it in the pan, is a little odd - better results are obtained by following the packet instructions.
jojohirst
4th Jan, 2017
Quite time consuming to make but worth it for two meals in the week. At first I thought it looked a bit watery and so added a small dollop of yoghurt, fresh coriander and squeeze of lemon to liven up. Spicy and very tasty, really enjoyed this meal.
CDA84
4th Jan, 2017
3.8
Lovely tasting dish, with some wonderful flavours. Took longer than would like for a mid-week recipe, but the portions are definitely for four (which isn't always the case with some of them!) so the other half can be frozen or chilled. Would make again.
fern42
4th Jan, 2017
Made for dinner last night. Easy to make, although the 15 minutes for the tomato sauce is a bit optimistic....more like 40 minutes to thicken. Bulghur wheat and chickpeas eaten with the meatballs was good, family liked it more than they thought! Daughter thought meatballs a bit too spicy, might put less chilli in next time and a bit of coriander/ cumin. Plenty for 4, generous helpings.
Fenna
3rd Jan, 2017
As I read this I interprete it as this recipe serves 8, instead of 4, if you serve half and chill the remainder. And for 4 the amount of calories is double, 968 kcal? Is that correct?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
4th Jan, 2017
Thanks for your question. This recipe serves four people. It is part of our January 2017 Healthy Diet Plan which is designed for two people, hence the suggestion to keep half for another day. We've changed the text in the recipe to clarify that. The calories are per serving (one person). Hope that makes sense now!
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