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For the meatballs

400g minced lamb
1 small onion, peeled and grated
30g fresh white breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

For the stew

2 onions, peeled and finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 small red chilli, membrane and seeds removed, finely chopped *
1 tsp ground cumin
1 400g tin plum tomatoes
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
250g spinach or chard, tough stalks removed and roughly shredded
1 large bunch parsley, tough stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Make the meatballs – in a bowl, combine the lamb, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, egg yolk, salt and pepper,  mixing it with your hands until just combined.
  2. Fry a small piece of the mixture to check for seasoning, and adjust the remaining mix as necessary.  Wet your hands and roll the rest of the mix into small meatballs about the size of a walnut.
  3. Warm half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the meatballs in batches until lightly browned on all sides (about 5 mins) and set aside.
  4. Now make the stew – warm the remaining oil in a large saucepan over a medium/low heat and fry the onions gently with the bay leaves and thyme, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin and fry for a minute, add the tomatoes crushing them roughly against the side of the pan with a fork, stock and chickpeas.  Season and bring to ta gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the meatballs to the stew and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the spinach and chard and half of the parsley and simmer for 10 minutes,  Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled over the top.


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