lamb meatball with barberries & wild figs recipe

the Spice Library

Lamb Meatball with Barberries & Wild Figs

My Famous Meatball recipe

March 20, 2014
Lamb Meatball with Barberries & Wild Figs

Lamb meat is widely used in Middle-Eastern and Arabian cuisines and is quintessential to overall flavor of the dish. Meatball is one method of using lamb. There are hundreds of variations each with its unique heritage and preparation techniques. Every Persian family have their own recipes which is passed down through generations.

Lamb meatball with barberries and wild figs is my funky fusion of ingredients associated with fun memories growing up with this dish. I have picked one key element from four generations of home-cooks. 

Sweet and sour flavours balanced with soothing broth topped with classic Persian herbs. I suggest serving this dish with Moghrabieh or Persian Cumin Rice.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoy cooking it.

Wild Persian Figs - Anjeer (200g)


– 500g Lamb mince

– 5 medium brown onions- 1 onion finely diced and the rest cut in quarter

– handful of parsley – finely chopped

– 3 cloves garlic – crushed

-3/4 tsp Spice Library Ground All Spice

– 3/4 tsp Spice Library Cinnamon powder

– 1tsp brown sugar/coconut blossom sugar

– 1 tsp Persian sumac

-1 tsp Turmeric

-1 tsp Black Pepper

-1 tsp Salt- add more if needed

– 1 happy egg

– 50g Barberries

– 150g Persian Wild Figs

– 1 glass (200-300ml) of crispy white wine

– 500ml of Chicken/Lamb stock (I highly recommend home-made stock or a good quality stock)

– 2 Tbsp Dried Dill

– 2 Tbsp Persian mint

– Sunflower oil

– salt & pepper as needed (adjust seasoning during the cooking process to bind all the flavors together)



1. Combine lamb mince, diced onion, sumac, egg, spices, garlic, half of barberries & parsley. knead like bread dough for 5-10 minutes until stretchy. Then roll into balls of your desired size. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in the heavy based pot on medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add meatballs and cook on each side to ensure they are browned/colored on all sides.

3. Remove the left over oil and wipe the pot clean with paper towel. Add fresh oil. Once the oil is hot, add the quartered onions and cook over medium heat. Add sugar, pinch of salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir frequently until golden brown.

4. Add wine and leave to bubble for 2-3 minutes. Add stock and bring to rapid boil. Arrange the meatball in the pot and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning as you go. Now add wild figs and the remaining barberries. Cover the pot and reduce heat to very low and cook for 45 mins -1 hour until the sauce has reduced and intensified in flavor. About 10 minutes before it is ready, add the dried herbs and adjust seasoning. Leave some of the dried herbs for garnish.

5. Serve with moghrabieh and natural yoghurt.


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