Daoud Basha – Meatballs with pine nuts in a rich tomato sauce

Daoud Basha – Meatballs with pine nuts in a rich tomato sauce

There has not been a single moment in my life when the Mediterranean food has disappointed me. From the wide spread mezze, to the diverse distribution of main and side dishes and of course the mouthwatering desserts – every bite of the cuisine is exciting and satisfying.

Lebanon sits on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and had their own waves in history, which in turn contributed to its cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. Encompassing a perfect balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, grains, fat  and dairy, the Lebanese cuisine is rich, with the most beautiful flavors. It is as diverse as its cultural history, heartwarming and at the same time healthy.

Ingredients

  • Lebanon sits on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and had their own waves in history, which in turn contributed to its cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. Encompassing a perfect balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, grains, fat  and dairy, the Lebanese cuisine is rich, with the most beautiful flavors. It is as diverse as its cultural history, heartwarming and at the same time healthy.
  • Like any other Lebanese food, the flavors in this dish are complex. It is not very complicated to prepare, neither does it take too much time. It is beautiful dish with raisins and pine nuts and the sauce is rich and aromatic.
  • I have adapted this recipe from a source I have mentioned below, along with some changes to the spices and the texture. I have used some raisins with the pine nuts, as I have used a lot of red pepper. The hint of sweet of the raisins pair well with the spice level. I have added saffron to the sauce for some extra flavor. I wish I had saved some pine nuts to garnish the dish when served, but I did not. And while in this recipe the pine nuts and the raisins have been combined with the minced meat, a more elegant way to do it would be to stuff the meat balls with them.
  • Daoud Basha – Meatballs with pine nuts in a rich tomato sauce
  • Ingredients:
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 big ripe tomatoes, pureed or 1 -240z can of crushed tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, or as per your taste
  • 2.5 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (if you have some)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a nice pinch of oregano
  • a pinch of saffron
  • For the Meatballs/Kofta
  • 1 lb  minced meat (usually lamb or beef is used, but I have used chicken here)
  • 1 thick  slice of bread, soaked in few tablespoons of  milk to soften it or about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4  cups pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated and drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder or all spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • oil to cook the meatballs and toast the pine nuts
  • For Pilaf:
  • uncooked Basmati rice
  • butter
  • few tablespoons of warm milk
  • saffron
  • salt
  • Preparation:
  • To make the Pilaf:
  • Wash the rice till the water runs clear. Soak for about 15-20 minutes and drain.
  • Soak the saffron threads in the warm milk.
  • Heat a knob of butter in a pan. Add the drained rice and stir fry moving the rice around quickly, till the butter coats the rice grains. The rice will glisten. Add the salt and the the milk with soaked saffron. Stir it around for a couple of minutes.
  • Add water (1.5 cups of water with 1 cup  uncooked rice), & boil at high heat till the water from the top disappears, but there is still more water in the pot. Reduce the heat to lowest possible and immediately cover the pot tightly. After 5 minutes, switch off the heat, but leave the cover on the pot till ready to serve. When ready to serve, fluff the rice with fork.
  • Cooking the Meatballs/Koftas:
Read the whole recipe on eCurry