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Aromatic Lamb Meatballs

From the book Feast by
Yield 75 meatballs

Culinate editor’s note: Nigella Lawson makes these meatballs in tiny spheres, but they’re just as good (and less of a time-waster in the kitchen) when rolled into walnut-sized balls. For another time-saver, simply place them on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for about 16 to 18 minutes.


I find a tremendous amount of use for these: to pick at over drinks, much as they are here; lowered into a vat of sweet vegetable stew with couscous; piled into warm pita with salad and hummus; or just piled over plain steamed rice and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and freshly chopped cilantro.


1 lb. ground lamb
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. semolina
1 egg
~ Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Put the lamb into a bowl and add the scallions. Sprinkle over the spices, salt, and semolina. Beat the egg and add it to the bowl. Work everything together thoroughly but lightly with your hands, then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and scoop out a scant teaspoon of the mixture. Roll in your hands to form the meatball and place on the lined baking sheet. Concentrate, as it’s easy to make them bigger and bigger as you form them, and you do want these toytown small. Have a bowl of cold water beside you to dampen your hands; this helps them not get too sticky for rolling the meatballs.
  3. When you are ready to cook them, heat about ½ inch of the oil in a frying pan and, when the oil is hot, fry the meatballs in batches without overcrowding the pan. Cook them for about a minute a side, or until golden brown all over. Taste as you go to check they are cooked through. Line another baking sheet with paper towels and place the finished meatballs on the towels.

This content is from the book Feast by Nigella Lawson.

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