Lamb Meatballs | Holiday Recipes

This is my second of four holiday recipes coming up in the next few weeks. Even if you’re not gearing up to celebrate any holidays this winter, all these recipes are great for dinner parties or used separately for lunches and dinners.

For my Mint Pesto recipe, which is a great accompaniment for this dish, go here.

I think most of us like to be able to pile different bits and bobs on our plate, so having a side dish of meat on the table at a dinner party is always a great shout. Lamb is the most popular meat in the Gulf, so it was a natural choice for me. I wanted to give you guys a good, uncomplicated recipe that’s a staple in different forms the world over. In Bahrain, we would call this kubbah, instead of meatballs.



You will need:
(Makes 18)

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 handful of mint, chopped
  • 1 finely diced chilli (I used a Scotch bonnet)
  • 3 diced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

For the love of good food, folks, please don’t use low-fat mince. There is literally no point, you basically get rid of all the flavour and then have to use oil to cook it anyway. This way, you can skip the oil and use the natural fats in the meat.

However, please do adjust the chilli to your heat requirements — these were spicy, but that’s how I wanted them! Any chilli you like will work here, but I particularly like the sweet edge to the red-hot Scotch bonnets.


For your spices:

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt

Odd to have cacao on this list? Just think about that lovely flavour you get from a good chilli when you add chocolate powder in there. It works, promise!


Add your onions, garlic, chilli, and spices in a non-stick pan and sauté for a few minutes until the ingredients are incorporated and your onions are translucent. Take it off the heat and pop it into the freezer for it to cool for a few minutes before you add it to your mince.


Pop everything into a bowl! Then get your hands in there and give everything a good old squeeze. You could use a utensil, but really, why?


Start rolling them out into balls. I just eyeball the size and go for what’s essentially two-bites. Lay them out on a tray that’s ever-so-slightly greased, because these beauties will release more fat as they cook.

You could, of course, fry them. I don’t really fry anything nowadays, so I cook them in a hot oven, at 200C for 25-30 minutes, turning them over halfway through.


Serve and enjoy!


I served it alongside some honey-roasted carrots, cumin cauliflower and roasted butternut squash.


When I made this for a dinner party, we had it with the mint pesto on top of some courgetti and a grating of fresh parmesan.

Please do let me know if you make these! Tag me on Instagram (@sandkitchen). They’re fantastic. I have witnesses that will attest to the same!

As always, bilafiya (well wishes and wellbeing)

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