Syrian Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

If you have a pressure cooker or Instant pot, this is the perfect recipe. You can even freeze everything and place in a pressure cooker – Dinner is ready when the rice is cooked !
This meal can be prepared in minutes if you use a Pressure Cooker. If you have a little time at home, you can bake it for 45 minutes and the smell in house will be transformed.
The spice mixture makes all the difference in the world. Look out for the 7 Middle Eastern Spice mix, which consists of a mix of  cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, fenugreek, allspice, pepper, and cloves. I have included the recipe below. You can also purchase the spice mix at any Middle Eastern Grocery store.
If you cannot find the 7 Middle Eastern Spice Mix, I have an alternative spice composition for you to try.

500 Gr. Ground lamb
1 Egg sightly beaten
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1 Large red onion roughly chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely minced (optional)
2 Teaspoon Middle Eastern Spice Mix
Salt & Pepper to taste
Large bunch of flat finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

For the Sauce :
1 Large Onion roughly chopped
1 Can of Chopped Tomato
1 Cup of Water
Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a large bowl, mix the ground lamb, chopped onion, egg, parsley, breadcrumbs and spices thoroughly and form balls the size of a golf ball.
In a cast iron or your pressure cooker, instant pot pan, saute the meatballs in olive oil, until browned on all sides.
Remove the meatballs and set aside.

Oven version
In the same pot, saute an onion until translucent. Add a can of tomatoes and water – Add another teaspoon of the 7 spice mixture and return the meatballs in the pan and place in pre-heated oven at 180 Celsius for 45 minutes.

Pressure Cooker version
I use a traditional pressure cooker. The method is essentially the same. Simply saute the lamb meatballs in a little bit of olive oil, until browned on all sides. Pour the tomato sauce, water and spices in the pot and cook at low heat, for 12 minutes. If the meat was frozen, cook for 18 minutes.
Serve with Basmati Rice. Sprinkle the meatballs with the zest of a lemon.

7 Spice Mix Recipe
2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 Teaspoon ground cardamom

Other Spice Variation
2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Paprika
2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes

TIP DU JOUR : When serving, sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley & grate a lemon over each plate. This makes the dish from good to great.

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