Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Aubergine Purée

I usually make meatballs with stuffing mix to give them a light texture, but the breadcrumbs and spices in this recipe are more complimentary with the aubergine and they still retain that lighter consistency.


For the aubergine purée

2 aubergines

Olive oil

2 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove

Salt and Pepper

For the meatballs

500g lamb mince

50g breadcrumbs

20g red onion

10g parsley

1 heaped tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp garlic salt

¼ tsp paprika

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Serve with

Pickled red onions





Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways (no need to cut the tops off). Rub the aubergine all over with a little olive oil and put skin side up on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Put into the oven for 45 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. With your hands, combine the mixture really well. When all the spices are even throughout start rolling into balls. It's nice to have larger meatballs on this dish so I divide the mixture into 9 balls. I also like to make one more than I'll serve – best to test it's cooked through!

In a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the meatballs and cook until brown all over. I don't add oil to the pan here because the lamb mince is quite fatty anyway.

Add the garlic clove to the oven for 10 minutes so it softens slightly and takes away that garlic burn.

When the aubergine is done, scoop out the insides from the skins. Discard the skins and add the remaining aubergine to the blender. Add the remaining ingredients for the purée. Blend until smooth.

To serve, place a couple of scoops of the purée onto a plate and with the back of the spoon spread it out into a circle. Add 3 or 4 of the meatballs on top. Scatter over the parsley, pickled red onions and feta. Serve with soft pitta.