Moroccan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Moroccan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
Marokanske Mesne Okruglice

Serves 4.

  • Prep time: 25min
  • Cook time: 45min
  • Total time: 1h 10min
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

This recipe makes 35 walnuts-sized meatballs. They can be prepared right away or you refrigerate them over night. They also freeze very vell. Put them into the freezer for a couple of hours, together with the plate. Once frozen, transfer the meatballs into freezer bags. They can be stored for up to three months. When you want to cook them, remove the meatballs from the freezer bag and arrange them onto a plate so that they are not touching each other. Leave them in the refrigerator over night to thaw and proceed according to the recipe.

I like to serve them sprinkled with fresh mint and cilantro  and slivered almonds. They go well with  couscous or bulghur wheat.

For the meatballs.


  • 450g minced beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cm ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a bowl mix together meat, onion and garlic. Add salt, ginger and spices and mix with your hands until well incorporated. Form the mixture into little meatballs, about the size of walnuts. Put the meatballs onto a large plate lined with aluminium foil.

For the tomato sauce.


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 1 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cm ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 800g plum tomatoes, (tinned)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 200ml water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • some salt and pepper
  • some fresh mint and cilantro, to serve
  • 30g slivered almonds, to serve


Roughly crush the cumin, corriander and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar. Add chili flakes and set aside.
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. If necessary, fry them in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the crushed spices in the same pan and fry for two minutes, then add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add tomato paste and tinned tomatoes, water and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Then return meatballs to the pan and cook for another 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.


Category: Meat
Cuisine: Arab

Arab and Middle Eastern cuisine in general are typically Mediterranean. They are mostly based on fresh fruit, especially citruses, and vegetables of which eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and olives are most common. Arab diet is based on meat, especially lamb, followed by beef and chicken. Lentils and chickpeas are most commonly used legumes, while bulgur, rice and couscous serve as both side dishes and the base for a variety of salads. However, what makes Middle Eastern cuisine so special is the combination of spices and herbs. Fresh mint, cilantro and parsly give a lovely balance and a fresh zing to most of the dishes and balance out commonly used spices, such as cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron and chilli, which give the dishes real character and fullness of flavor.

Thank you!