Garbanzo lime meatballs

August 8, 2010

Author Notes:

I bought grass-fed beef at the farmer's market this week and want to experiment with some replacements to oats and breadcrumbs in my meatball recipes. This is my interesting result. It is inspired by the falafel.


Serves: 4-6


  • 3/4 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooked preferably shortgrain brown rice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • pinch freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons gluten free AP flour seasoned with salt and pepper, or gravy flour of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, fage
  • 1 tablespoon AP gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat parsley, chopped
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil for browning
  • use tahini dressing as nondairy alternative sauce
  • and serve with a cucumber raita
In This Recipe


  1. Process the cooked garbanzo beans (can be homemade or even canned) coarsely in a blender with the juice of lime and 2 tsp. of agave nectar. Mix in the cooked brown rice.
  2. Add the bean mixture to the beef, cooked rice, beaten egg, cumin, coriander, capers, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly with very clean hands.
  3. Roll these into 1" meatballs and then roll evenly into a mix of the seasoned flour.
  4. Brown these in a hot frying pan using grapeseed oil.
  5. Add the wine to deglaze. Add 3 tbl. agave nectar. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the yogurt.
  6. Add 1 tbl. dry flour to a 2 tbl. lime juice and stir into pan to thicken. Simmer gently for @ 25 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tbl. each of cilantro and parsley just before the meatballs serving. Serve with your favorite pasta. A lemon-parsley couscous would be lovely. Garnish with lime wedges, and the remaining fresh cilantro and parsley.
  8. For a nondairy alternative sauce, you could substitute tahini (creamy puree of sesame seeds mixed with equal parts of water, flavored with lime and garlic) as is typical with falafel.
  9. Any leftover meatballs can be served in pita pockets with a sesame tahini sauce and/or a cucumber raita.

More Great Recipes:
Meatball|Bean|Beef|Capers|Cilantro|Coriander|Cumin|Lime Juice|Parsley|Entree

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

gingerroot August 10, 2010
These sound delicious. I once made my own interpretation of Hummus Ma Lahma (Hummus with Spicy Beef) and the flavors here remind me of that. Yum.
Author Comment
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
I just made a modification adding brown rice to keep these lighter. Yours sound great!
Midge August 9, 2010
Sounds so exotic! Great to meet you on Saturday!
Author Comment
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
Great to meet you, too. Gosh I learned a lot about meatballs this week! Wish I were starting the week over!
lapadia August 8, 2010
Love your experimental recipe, saved and will be adding this to my "kitchen to do" list.
Author Comment
Sagegreen August 8, 2010
Thanks! I had a mideastern student who put humus in a meatloaf that was fabulous. I've never used agave nectar before, but I thought I would try that out. The recipe called for some kind of sweetness to balance it out.