Jewelled Persian Meatballs with Spinach Flatbreads
Clock Image
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
A ruby rubble of pomegranate seeds puts the glitz in this easy Persian dinner. Lamb meatballs simmered in a cinnamon scented sauce are delicious scooped up with spinach flatbreads.
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824 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
Recipe Ingredients Image
  • A 75g bag of white basmati rice
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A 250g pack of lamb mince
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
  • 1 chilli
  • A 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large handfuls of baby leaf spinach
  • A 150g pot of plain flour
  • 1 pomegranate
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
You'll need
  • Pan
  • Frying pan
  • Bowl
  • Food processor
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Rinse the rice and tip into a pan. Cover with boiling water. Simmer for 8 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water.

  • 2.

    While the rice cooks, peel and finely slice the onion. Peel and crush the garlic. Set aside. Toast 2 tsp of the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan for 2 mins till they pop. Tip into a large bowl. Finely chop the chilli and half the mint. Add to the bowl. Chuck in the lamb mince. Season. Knead everything together in the bowl. Add the rice and mix together.

  • 3.

    Shape the rice and mince into 10-12 large balls. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs for 5-6 mins till golden, turning them regularly. Lift out of the pan and pop on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  • 4.

    Add the onions to the pan and fry for 2 mins. Add half the garlic and cook for 1 min. Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Half fill the can with cold water and pour into the pan. Throw in 1 cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer.

  • 5.

    Carefully lower in the meatballs and spoon over some of the sauce. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 mins till the sauce is thick and the meatballs are cooked through. Stir now and then.

  • 6.

    Place the spinach in a food processor with the remaining garlic and 1 tbsp water. Blitz to make a rough paste. Tip in the flour with a pinch of salt. Pulse a couple of times to make a dough – add a tiny splash of water to bring it together if needed.

  • 7.

    Let the dough rest for a few mins. Quarter the pomegranate, then scoop the seeds out. Divide the dough into 4 and roll out into rough rounds. Fry each one in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 2 mins on each side till firm and browned.

  • 8.

    Taste the meatball sauce and adjust the seasoning. Serve the meatballs scattered with the pomegranate seeds and the remaining mint, with the flatbreads for scooping.