Contrary to what the name might suggest, this simple, healthy and wonderfully tasty Syrian dish does not appear to have much Indian influence and is not heavily spiced. Like Damascene cuisine more generally, the key to this dish is its delicately balanced, fresh flavor. It is the ideal dish for breaking one’s fast with friends and family and can easily be cooked in large quantity.
Ingredients (4 persons):
- 500-600 grams minced meat
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 spoon of breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- 3 large onions
- 10-12 tomatoes
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1 green bell pepper
- pine seeds (small handful)
- 1 large handful of finely chopped mint
- Salt, pepper to taste (other spices at your discretion)
- Cut onions in narrow slices and dice the tomatoes.
- Cut the green pepper, eggplant and zucchini into small pieces about 1cm thick.
- Sweat the onions in a little oil and then add green pepper, eggplant, and zucchini.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste and finely chopped mint, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10mins before placing the sauce into a large casserole.
- Now mix the minced meat with the eggs and breadcrumbs (you can use a little flour instead of breadcrumbs) until you get a firm mass. Season with salt and pepper and roll into small meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Fry the meatballs gently in a little oil (not too long, as they will be cooked for another 30 minutes afterwards).
- Place the meatballs into the casserole with the sauce and sprinkle with a handful of pine seeds.
- Place the casserole into a pre-heated oven (200°C) and cook for 30 to 40mins.
- Serve with rice or flatbread.