This medieval Arabic inspired recipe comes from Northern Syria with variations found in other parts of the Middle East.
For Sour Cherry Sauce
100g of pitted sour cherries – either fresh, dried or canned can be used
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon of honey
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
For the Meatballs
400g ground lamb or beef
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Small handful of bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Pinch of salt & black pepper
Put all the sauce ingredients besides the lemon juice in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the sauce is thick and syrupy. When reduced, add the lemon juice and taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary
Crush garlic, dried chilies, cinnamon, olive oil and ground coriander with a pinch of salt to make a paste. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Cook the paste for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the onion and sauté quickly until mixture is translucent, not brown. Remove from the heat, let it cool down few a little while and transfer the onion mixture to a bowl with the meat. Add the parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well and shape the meat into small balls about the size of walnuts. Either fry or bake meatballs until they are cooked through.
Serve meatballs hot with cherry sauce. For this recipe I served the meatballs on fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander and mint.
Makes around 12 balls, enough for light canapés or as a starter for 3-4 people
This recipe is based on a recipe from “Taking Tea in the Medina” by Julie Le Clerc
This post is part of the Cook Book Challenge of Stone fruits :
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