Turkish Baharat Meatballs with Lentil Pilaf
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 large mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 small courgette, coarsely chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
Large pinch salt
½ tsp black pepper, cracked
½ tsp cumin
400g beef mince
1 rasher bacon, rind removed, very finely chopped
1 heaped tsp baharat spice mix*
½ cup of flour
½ tsp salt
3 cups water
1 ½ cups basmati rice
½ cup lentils
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 green cardamom pods
1 tsp salt
* Turkish baharat spice mix:
2 tbs ground black pepper
2 tbs dry savoury
4 tsp dry mint
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
Place onion, capsicum and garlic in a medium-large saucepan with some olive oil to saute for 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and courgette, stir.
Add the tomatoes and the spices, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
meanwhile combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out a measure of meat and roll into a ball with your hands. Repeat until you’ve used all the meat.
Place the meatballs in the saucepan, then cover and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve, uncover the saucepan and increase the heat to reduce the sauce to the desired thickness.
For the lentil pilaf bring the water to boil, then add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes before lifting the lid to check consistency. When done, all the liquid should have been absorbed by the rice/lentils, which should be soft.
Serve the meatballs and the sauce on a bed of the lentil rice with a big dollop of yoghurt.