I like flavor. Like really bold flavor. Maybe this is why I’m always making curries and Middle Eastern food. Don’t get me wrong I love a classic simple roast too. However, the traditional Irish boiled dinner that I grew up with is not exactly my cup of tea. Don’t tell my dad (he loves it). In my journey through world cuisines I’ve tried a number of Moroccan Meatball recipes. Mostly because these kids love meatballs, and mom wants flavor. This recipe however is the absolute winner.
It was extra exciting when I was approached by Maya Mountain to try out some of their amazing spices. I immediately knew I was going to try them in this recipe. What excited me the most about Maya Mountains spices is that they are whole spices, not pre-ground.
The benefit of working with whole spices is that they last a lot longer. And by that I mean, the flavor lasts a lot longer, so you use less spice (and save money). But mostly it’s the flavor I’m after. You can’t compare the flavor of pre-ground grocery store spices that have been sitting on shelves for months to that of fresh roasted and ground spices. You simply, just cannot.
I also love that this company is run by its farmers in Belize. You know I’m all about shopping small and local, but in all seriousness there are a few things that we cannot get locally in the northeastern U.S. Those things include exotic spices, so finding a company that is fair trade, but also gives back to non-profits in the community is amazing! I am so thrilled to support them.
Granted they do sell pre-ground spices, spice blends, and other extras, but if you want the really good stuff, you’ll buy whole spices. Sure there’s a few extra steps when you’re toasting and grinding yourself, but I promise it will be worth it.
Moroccan Meatball Recipe
For the Meatballs
- 1.5 lb ground beef or lamb
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cloves
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 tbsp ginger root minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt + more to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the meat, spices, almond flour, egg, and fresh cilantro. Mix with your hands and incorporate the spices completely. Form into 1 – 1.5 inch balls, and place on a prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make your sauce. Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven, over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until it begins to turn translucent. Stir in garlic and ginger. Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the spices, bay leaf and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and let simmer for another 10 to 20 minutes.
- Flavor with lemon juice, salt to taste
- Garnish with additional cilantro.
- Serve warm.