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Arabic Sesame Lamb Meatballs with Mint Yoghurt

1 sm Minced onion
1 lg Garlic clove; minced
1 1/2 ts Olive oil
1/2 ts Dried mint; crumbled
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Ground allspice
A pinch of cinnamon
1/2 kg Minced lamb
1 c Fine fresh bread crumbs
1 lg Egg; beaten lightly
2 tb Dried currants; (optional)
1/4 c Black sesame seeds
1/4 c White sesame seeds; toasted lightly
2 c Plain yogurt
1/4 c Packed fresh mint leaves; chopped
1/2 ts Salt; or to taste


Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a non-stick frypan until golden then transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the mint,, salt, allspice, cinnamon, lamb, breadcrumbs, egg and currants (if using) and using your hands, combine the ingredients thoroughly.

Shape the mince mixture into tablespoon size balls and set aside.

Roll half the meatballs in black sesame seeds and roll the remainder in white sesame seeds. Transfer the meatballs to a baking tray and bake at 220c. For 10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Alternatively, you can pan fry the meatballs in olive or peanut oil.

To make the yoghurt, transfer the yoghurt mixture to a sieve that has been lined with some muslin or cheesecloth and set over a bowl, covered and chilled for three hours.

Discard the liquid in the bowl and transfer yoghurt cheese to bowl. Add fresh mint and salt and stir well. Serve the cooked meatballs with the yoghurt.


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