Lamb Biryani Meatballs

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs

The herb-spice flavorings in this recipe were inspired by Food & Wine magazine’s recent recipe for Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani.

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef
    • you could certainly use 2 pounds of ground lamb, or 2 pounds of ground beef. This is what I had on-hand from our local farm that offers pesticide/fertilizer/hormone-free, pasture-raised meats, Aberdeen Hill.
  • grated & chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 of the lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 20 grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of mint (approximately 8 leaves), chopped
  • leaves from 20 stems of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • two inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, grated & chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, fine-diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

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Ingredients for Lamb Biryani Meatballs

In small pan, heat a tiny bit of oil and add a smidge of the mixture. Cook all the way through, and then eat, to taste for salt- and spice-content. If you would like these to be a bit more seasoned or a bit spicier, add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt or another 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and re-test and taste.  Adjust all seasonings to your liking.

Roll into large walnut-size meatballs and place on large, parchment-lined baking sheet.  I used the parchment to keep them from sticking to the pan, and for easier clean-up. I’m guessing you could easily omit the parchment, and bake them on an ungreased pan.

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs, ready to be baked

Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Yield: 38 meatballs

Serving Suggestions:

I served these to Mr. Batch (who eats meat occasionally) in a tortilla-wrap, with lightly dressed salad greens, sliced red onion, crumbled feta, about 3 Tablespoons of hummus.

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs in a tortilla-wrap, with lightly dressed salad greens, sliced red onion, crumbled feta, about 3 Tablespoons of hummus. This image has been enhanced with a filter, which I don’t often do on the blog, so I thought it worth mentioning.

I ate these with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Braised Leeks, and steamed broccolini.

I could imagine serving these as an appetizer, with Raita (Yogurt & Cucumber condiment) dipping sauce, or Indian Cilantro-Mint Chutney.

Future variation: I might try lightly toasting the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, red pepper flakes, turmeric and cardamon in a small sauté pan just until they are fragrant, before adding to the rest of the mixture.

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