Dancing to the Rhythms of Kitchen Flavors

Pulse News Mexico photo/Avishag Ben Menashe

Spicy Cumin and Turmeric Meatballs


In our home, the consumption of minced meat is a celebration that turns into a variety of rich and varied dishes.

Freshly minced meat can mix well with an array of other ingredients and soak up flavors from accompaniments.

Pulse News Mexico photo/Avishag Ben Menashe

Here is my recipe for juicy and spicy meatballs, with a rich, tangy sauce and a wonderful aromatic scent.

The hardy flavors of the meatballs in my recipe are very strong, and come from Eastern Morocco and Tunisia, with a Mediterranean mix.

They go great with white rice, or quinoa.

A note: When choosing minced meat, ask your butcher to grind it fresh for you at that moment.

Pay attention to the color of the meat, and the smell. Freshness is important.

It is also best that the minced meat be between have somewhere between 10 and 20 percent fat, so that the meat balls will congeal well and mix with the flavor of the sauce you serve it in.


To make the meatballs:

1 kilo of freshly ground meat

1 chopped onion

1 large clove of garlic, crushed or very finely grated

1 cup of very finely chopped coriander

1 egg

1 small zucchini grated (be sure to squeeze the zucchini well before grating to remove any liquid)

2 to 3 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin

1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of chicken broth powder

To make the sauce:

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

1 chopped onion

4 to 5 garlic clove slices

3 to 4 dried red peppers (whatever kind you like)

1 cup of chickpeas (soaked in water)

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon of crushed hot red chili

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric for the sauce

1 tablespoon of chicken soup powder

1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika (optional)


In a large bowl, place all the ingredients for making the meatballs.

Mix well, (preferably with your hands) to a uniform texture that contains all the ingredients evenly.

In a large, wide pot, heat the oil and fry the chopped onion until golden. Add the garlic slices and stir for another minute.

Lower the fire. Using a spoon, take some of the meat mixture and form uniform balls.

Carefully insert the meatballs into the pot, arranging them in the shape of an inner and outer circle, with spaces in between.

Once you have inserted the meatballs, fill the pot with water until the patties are covered.

Add the chickpeas, dried peppers and spices and cook all together for about an hour over medium-high heat.

The stew is ready when the sauce in the pot becomes thick, the patties are cooked and the chickpeas are tender.

The cooking time may be slightly longer, depending on the intensity of the flame and the size of the pot.

AVISHAG BEN MENASHE is an Israeli-born mother and wife who loves to cook, write recipes and share original tips and ideas that will make cooking in any kitchen a true celebration of life. For more recipes and culinary inspiration, check out her Instagram page.

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