Moroccan recipes are some of my favourites. In Paris there are lots of great Moroccan restaurants to choose from. Even the Parisian markets often have a tagine or a chicken bastilla. A chicken bastilla is a delicious parcel of chicken, slivered almonds and other wonderful ingredients, it is wrapped in filo pastry. If you ever see these for sale you must buy some because you are in for a taste sensation that you will always remember. I bought a bastilla at a market near Hotel De Ville in the Marias. I fell in love with it straight away, so many textures and flavours in the one bite.  I will put the recipe up another time but it does require a lot of work. These meatballs are much easier, you can serve these meatballs with cous cous or quinoa if you prefer a bit more protein in your diet or want to keep it gluten free.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 500g lean minced lamb
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2cm chunk root ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp of chilli power
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 tsps of tumeric
  • good pinch of saffron threads
  • (If you prefer you can buy a packet of Herbies Tagine Spices and add a couple of tablespoons of this instead.)
  • olive oil
  • 2 pieces of preserved lemon (if you don’t have these just some lemon zest grated over the dish will do)
  • 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • .If you would rather you can buy some Herbies Ras El Hanout and add these instead on individual spices, you will still need the garlic and ginger and fresh coriander.
  • I have added a tin of lentils to this sauce or you could add chickpeas or leave without.

HERB COUSCOUS WITH VEGETABLES

  • 200g couscous or quinoa
  • two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 350ml chicken stock, boiling
  • ½ bunch coriander , chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil to drizzle over

Method

    1. Put the lamb, onion, half the garlic, half the ginger and half the spices in a bowl and season well. Mix and form into little meatballs (you’ll make around 30).
    2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the meatballs in batches, frying until browned all over. Scoop out, then add the rest of the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and season. Simmer for 10 minutes, then place the meatballs back in the sauce and cook for at least another 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. Stir in the coriander. Save some coriander for serving to sprinkle on. You can leave this simmering until dinner time.
    3. To make the couscous, put it in a bowl with the olive oil and some seasoning. Pour over the chicken stock and cover with glad wrap. Leave for 10 minutes. Add cooked and chopped sweet potato or peas or carrot. Stir the herbs through and serve with meatballs. If you choose quinoa, you must wash the quinoa first, thoroughly and then gently simmer win the chicken stock and olive oil until softened. Add herbs before serving

*Note in the photos I have sprinkled with pine nuts, this is not necessary just made the photography look better.

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