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 yields 35 meatballs the size of walnuts. They can be prepared immediately or refrigerated overnight. They also freeze extremely well. Place them, along with the plate, in the freezer for a couple of hours. Transfer the frozen meatballs to freezer bags. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three months. When you’re ready to cook them, remove the meatballs from the freezer bag and arrange them on a plate so they don’t touch. Place them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw before proceeding with the recipe.

I like to garnish them with fresh mint, cilantro, and slivered almonds. They are delicious with couscous or bulgur 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


Combine the meat, onion, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Mix in the salt, ginger, and spices with your hands until well combined. Make meatballs the size of walnuts out of the mixture. Place the meatballs on a large plate that has been lined with aluminum 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


In a pestle and mortar, coarsely crush the cumin, corriander, and fennel seeds. Set aside the chili flakes. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Fry them in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Set aside after removing with a slotted spoon from the pan. In the same pan, heat the crushed spices for two minutes before adding the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onion has turned translucent. Combine tomato paste, canned tomatoes, water, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Simmer for 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Return meatballs to pan and cook for another 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens.


Arab and Middle Eastern cuisine in general is Mediterranean in nature. They are primarily composed of fresh fruit, particularly citrus fruits, and vegetables, the most common of which are eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, and olives. The Arab diet is heavy on meat, particularly lamb, followed by beef and chicken. Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas are the most commonly used legumes, while bulgur, rice, and couscous are used as side dishes as well as the base for a variety of salads. The combination of spices and herbs, however, is what distinguishes Middle Eastern cuisine. Fresh mint, cilantro, and parsley add a lovely balance and zing to most of the dishes, as do common spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, and chilli, which give the dishes real character and fullness of flavor.

Thank you!