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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Afghani Meatballs by mrsthing on 18 October 2008 8:37pm
Can anyone tell me if this recipe is authentic or not? I found the recipe online at recipes.wuzzle.org. I'm cooking it for an "international" potluck dinner tonight. It called for ground beef, but I used ground lamb instead.

1 Cup chickpeas (soak overnight)
(Or use one 15 oz can of chickpeas)
2 pounds ground lamb
1 large onion, grated
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 t cinnamon
1T dried mint, crushed
1T bread crumbs
4C boiling water, salted

Drain chickpeas and grind them fine in a food processor. Mix everything together except the water. Make into meatballs about 2 inches in diameter. Put them in the boiling water and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve like soup or just the meatballs themselves.

They came out pretty good. A little bland, but the mint and cinnamon are there. I put some extra salt in the water after the first batch. I think I'd use even more salt in the mixture if I make them again, and more pepper, mint, and cinnamon. But maybe they're supposed to be bland--er, subtle?

I had a lot of trouble grinding the chickpeas. Some of it came out like mush and the rest was too chunky. It worked okay, though.
Re: Afghani Meatballs by kazzzz on 19 October 2008 3:18am
This sounds rally smiliar to a felafel recipe we make, we had heaps of trouble getting the chick peas just right too, in the end I found canned ones worked much better fo some reason.

I know what you mean about the bland though, try some hommus for dipping?
Re: Afghani Meatballs by tucsonmike on 19 October 2008 5:18am
Sounds like an excellent recipe.
Re: Afghani Meatballs by johnnythemonkey on 19 October 2008 8:23am
I think I'd prefer the meatballs in a tomato sauce.
Re: Afghani Meatballs by mrsthing on 19 October 2008 10:30pm
They're nothing like falafel, but everyone at the potluck really liked them. They're really meatballs, with the chickpeas in place of bread crumbs. Boiling them removed a lot of the fat. I really had to pack them tight to get them to hold their shape. But it was fun to make something I'd never made before.

I was using canned chickpeas, but for whatever reason, I couldn't get them completely mashed. I used a blender, a hand-held electric mixer, and a food processor. I suppose I could take dry chickpeas, chop them up in the blender, and then soak them? Maybe. I probably won't make the meatballs again anytime soon. We like food with a lot of flavor.
Re: Afghani Meatballs by MMMmmm... on 19 October 2008 11:37pm
If they were deep fried, they would probably hold together better, and have more flavor. But I don't know anything about Afghani cooking.

Maybe they use a mortar & pestle and grind the chick peas?
Re: Afghani Meatballs by mrsthing on 20 October 2008 7:34pm
An old-fashioned hand-held grinder would probably do the trick better than motorized blades.

My husband said he went to an Iranian restaurant once, and all the food was bland like that. So maybe that's how they like it. Or maybe it works better with fresh lamb meat.

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