Adapted from a recipe by CJ Katz, www.beakitchenhero.com this recipe for Beef & Lentil Kefta Meatballs serves up meatballs with a Middle Eastern twist. Make ahead, bake and freeze meatballs for up to 3 months if you like. Instead of cooking in the oven, meatballs can also be cooked in a grill basket on the barbecue by indirect heat (i.e. burner turned off under the grill basket, lid closed).
Recipe and image courtesy of CJ Katz (full rights purchase).Print
Beef & Lentil Meatballs
- ½ cup small brown lentils, cooked and cooled*
- 500 g lean or medium ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Finely grated rind of half a small lemon
- Pepper, to taste
- 8 naan or pita, warmed
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded or julienne cut carrot
- Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled lentils, ground beef, minced garlic, grated onion, cumin, cinnamon, salt, paprika, grated lemon rind and pepper. Mix very well with your hands.
- Roll the mixture into approx. twenty-six 1 ½” balls, placing on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, in a 400°F oven until cooked through, when several meatballs register 160°F (71°C) when tested with a digital thermometer.
- To serve, tuck 3 to 4 meatballs into each warmed naan or pita; top with shredded lettuce, carrot and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.
*To cook lentils: Simmer in 1 cup water for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse.
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce: In medium serving bowl, combine 1 cup plain yogurt, ½ a long English cucumber, unpeeled, deseeded and grated (about ½ a cup), 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed, 1 tbsp EACH chopped fresh dill and mint, salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.