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[personal profile] jademermaid
This is a recipe inspired by a historical one from the Ni'matnama, a book written in the late 1400's. I am not familiar in a scholarly fashion with historical foods from this time and place, but I went to a workshop this past Gulf Wars where this recipe was redacted. I thought the finished flavor was extraordinary, and wanted to play with a modern interpretation to make at home. I dropped the asofoetida because I can't deal with it personally, and I'm making lots of leaps in preparation. It seems like a LOT of spices, but it tastes wonderful, trust me. Happily, my husband loves the flavor, and he is a guy that is hard to swing toward non-American foods.

First, I use a couple of pounds of lamb bones and a small onion (or 1/2 a large one)to make a stock. You don't have to do this, you could just use the meatballs and it will flavor the broth. I happen to go to a Halal butcher and he gives me the bones from the lamb I buy. So no need to waste it if you buy your meat from a butcher.

Strain the stock well and get rid of the bones and any bottom bits. Add water to the stock until you have about a gallon. No need to measure, just eyeball it. Peel and chop the boiled onion and put it back in the stock. Return to a slow boil. Add to the broth:
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

About 2 pounds of lamb, ground
2 tbsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp.cardamom
1 tbsp. ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp anise seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup lime juice

If you do not have these spices, a good curry powder from an international store will probably make a good substitute, but I would buy some turmeric and add extra.

Roll up the meatballs, keeping your hands damp with lime juice as you work. (Do not do this if you have a cut on your finger! Use gloves or phone a friend. hehe)

Drop the meatballs in, and cook at a slow simmer for about a hour. Remove from heat. Add a tablespoon of black pepper and salt, another 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of ghee or butter and a handful of cilantro if that is your fancy (it is mine!)

During the meatball cooking process, you can put in rice or any veggies you have around, it's a good way to clean out the fridge. Today I used basmati rice, some sliced button mushrooms and some celery.

Serve with roti or naan.
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