Lamb Meatballs in a Tamarind and Tomato Sauce

Palestinian chef and cookbook author, Joudie Kalla shares her recipe for lamb meatballs in a tamarind and tomato sauce
Lamb Meatballs in a Tamarind and Tomato Sauce
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Lamb Meatballs in a Tamarind and Tomato Sauce
March 08, 2019
Level Intermediate
Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 1-1½ hours
Serves 6-8

It is through years of being in the kitchen with her mother, aunties and grandmothers, listening to their conversations and being included in their daily cooking adventures that Palestinian chef, cookbook author and supper club host Joudie Kalla fell in love with her family’s traditional food. While her books Palestine on a Plate, and recently launched Baladi really do pay homage to the women in her life, and the country they all loved and knew, they’ve managed to resonate with wider audiences on a much deeper level – speaking to those yearning for a connection to their roots. Of the many delicious dishes she could have shared with Spinneys, Joudie chose dadoud basha – which she adores.

PHOTO BY Joudie Kalla
RECIPE BY Joudie Kalla


600g spinneysFOOD Lamb Mince
6 onions: 1 finely diced, and 5 cut into half-moon slices
3 tsp spinneysFOOD Salt
1 tsp spinneysFOOD Whole Black Pepper, cracked
2 tbsp spinneysFOOD Sunflower Oil
1 litre spinneysFOOD Organic Tomato Passata
5 tbsp tamarind liquid
Vermicelli rice, to serve


  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4

  • 2

    Combine the lamb mince with the finely diced onion, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper, mixing well

  • 3

    Make golf-ball-sized balls with the meat and place them on a baking sheet in the oven to seal them and turn them brown, about 15 minutes

  • 4

    While they are cooking, sauté the half-moon onions in the sunflower oil for 10-15 minutes until they are slightly caramelized

  • 5

    Once ready, add the tomato passata, the tamarind and remaining salt, and let it cook down for about 15-20 minutes on a medium-high heat

  • 6

    Take the meatballs out of the oven and add them to the tomato tamarind mix with all their juices. Simmer for a further 30 minutes to really incorporate the flavours

  • 7

    Serve with vermicelli rice