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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by crossing a modified couscous and raita recipe from a cooking class I took from local chef J.P. Samuelson, and a recipe I have been making for a while for wonderfully fragrant and tender lamb meatballs. I have made this dairy, egg, and wheat free for my daughter, using rice milk, crushed rice cakes, and a little flax seed oil instead of the egg. I have tired it with both pine nuts and almonds, regular and golden raisins, bread crumbs or other crumbs.
All work well! I have added a little hairssa to give it some spice, but you can add more if you want it to be hotter
Chunky yogurt sauce
- 1 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt (I prefer Sheep's milk yogurt)
- 2 scallions, white and green parts,chopped
- 1/2 tomato, diced
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
- Prepare all the ingredients in a small boil and combine gently. Let sit in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the meal.
Meatballs and couscous
- 1 cup couscous (I prefer whole wheat)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 preserved lemon, separted into the rind and the insdies
- 1/2 cup onion or scallions, in chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup golde raisins
- 1 cup slivered almonds or pinenuts
- 1 teaspoon sea sa;t
- 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil and rosemary). You can also use a mix of parsley and cilantro.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk or plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon Harissa
- 1 egg
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a food processor chop and mix the almonds, onion, raisins, salt, garlic, herbs, and harissa.
- Mix in bread crumbs, milk or yogurt and egg.
- Turn into large mixing bowl and combine with ground lamb. Form into meatballs, about 20.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and cook the meatballs, turning them until golden brown and crusty, about 15-20 minutes. Remove to baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you prepare the couscous.
- Prepare the couscous Place the water in a small saucepan. Add the chopped insides of the preserved lemon.
- Heat until boiling, Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat.
- After 10 minutes fluff with a fork and mix in the chopped preserved lemon rind. Taste and add salt if desired.
- Serve meatballs with couscous and the yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy the tastes of Northern Africa!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs