Lamb Meatballs & Lentil Rice with Garlicky Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce

Hello readers, I’m back. I miss all of you and I hope that I am not forgotten. :P

In the time of me missing in action, I have cooked this new dish for the 3rd time now and guess what I still can’t get enough of it!  I have made it to entertain my friends, quick dinner fix in the middle of work week and for packed lunches. Since this my new favourite dish on the block, I thought why not sharing it with  my readers on the blog. :)

Lentil is quite popular among vegetarians because its health benefits as well as a good source of protein and fibre.  As a non-vegetarian, this particular ingredient could easily being neglected. Moreover it is not commonly used in Chinese cooking which I grew up with.

I was inspired by a dish called Moujadara (lentils and rice with crispy onions) from the Lebanese Cookbook by Hussein Dekmak. Normally, one would use dried brown or green lentil but to avoid the hassle of boiling lentils until tender, I resort to canned lentils. This could easily be a tasty and cheap vegetarian meal as it is but the carnivore in me wanted some meat in the dish. Pulled lamb  and beef would work here too but to keep the cooking time short, meatballs are my preferred choice.

{Oven-grilled meatballs}

{Homemade fried shallots}

{Canned lentils}

Lamb Meatballs and Lentils Rice with Garlicky Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce

(inspired by The Lebanese Cookbook by Hussien Dekmak)

Serves 4

Lamb Meatballs & Lentils Rice Ingredients:

1.5 cups rice

1 canned of lentils, rinsed & drained

500g minced lamb

0.5 green chilli, finely chopped

2.5 tbsps ground cumin

0.5 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp semolina

Juice of half of lemon

Some black pepper and salt to taste

4 tbsps sliced shallots

Coriander (for garnish)

Paprika (for garnish) – optional

Garlicky Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce Ingredients:

1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)

6 tbsps plain yoghurt

1 clove of garlic, grated

0.5 tsp honey

Salt to taste

Water (the amount depends on your preferred consistency)

Method:

1. Preheat the griller. 

2. Cook rice per your desired method.

3. To make the meatballs, combine lamb with chopped green chilli, 1 tbsp ground cumin, paprika, semolina, lemon juice, pepper and salt (to taste). Knead to mix all the spices and mince together.

4.  Roll the meatballs into bite sized pieces (about 2cm in diameter) and arrange neatly on a baking tray. Make sure the meatballs are not placed too closed together.

5. Cook the meatballs under the griller for about 20 minutes, turning once.

6.In the meantime, heat some oil in the pan, add the sliced onion  and fry until brown and crispy. (Make sure the oil is enough to cover the sliced onion). Remove the fried onions from the pan and spread them thinly on a plate to retain their crispiness.

7. On low heat, toss the cooked rice and lentils in the oil (which you fry the shallots) and add in 1.5 tbsps ground cumin. Mix well.

8. Add in the cooked meatballs to the rice and mix well. Cover the rice mixture and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes over very low heat.

9. Make the yoghurt sauce (photo below)  in the meantime. Whisk all the sauce ingredients except for the water.  Once the all the ingredients are well combined, add water little by little to achieve your desired consistency.

10. To serve, top the rice with some yoghurt sauce, fried shallots, paprika and coriander.

 {Garlicky yoghurt-tahini sauce}

{Enjoy!}

Oh…. by the way, on a non-lentil related matter, my blog friend, Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron, has submitted a wonderful recipe – open-faced wild mushroom provolone sandwich to the Marx Food Mushroom Challenge. Please visit her site to check it out and vote for her (FYI – the voting ends at midnight on Friday, October 22nd). If you are a mushroom lover like me, you’ll love this recipe. Thanks! :D

3 thoughts on “Lamb Meatballs & Lentil Rice with Garlicky Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce

  1. THANK YOU! for posting this. I think my husband would really love this dish. I’ve never cooked with lamb before, but I’m guessing meatballs is a good place to start with them? They seem pretty hard to mess up.

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