Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro Raita
Use a gentle touch when shaping the meatballs. This prevents the meat from compacting and absorbing warmth from your hands, ensuring light and tender results. Keep a bowl of water nearby and wet your hands occasionally to form smooth meatballs. The uncooked meatballs may be refrigerated for up to 4 hours; remove them 15 minutes before cooking. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbs. fine dried bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
Shape the meatballs
Preheat a broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
In a fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the onion to a large bowl and add the lamb, eggs, parsley, bread crumbs, cumin, three-fourths of the garlic, 1 tsp. of the salt and the pepper. Using your hands, combine the ingredients. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls, rolling them lightly between your palms. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Cook the meatballs
Broil the meatballs, turning once, until brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Make the raita
Meanwhile, in a small serving bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cilantro, remaining garlic and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.
Spear each meatball with a toothpick, place on a platter and serve alongside the raita. Makes about 42 meatballs.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).