Thursday 7 May 2015

Sesame Chicken Meatballs + Smashed Chickpeas.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I don't know why I don't make meatballs more often.
They're usually a one-bowl recipe, cook up in no time and can be used in a bunch of different ways.

Case in point, these sesame chicken meatballs with smashed chickpeas which I first made back in October. You could stuff them in a pitta (which I still need to share with you - waaah, I'm so behind on recipes), wrap them in a wrap (see the previous set of brackets), pile onto a soft roll or do as we did, and munch them straight out of the pan.
Oh, and the smashed chickpeas? I don't know - they're kinda different and stand in for the usual rice, pasta, couscous thing. Substantial but oh so good for you.
However you decide to eat these, the best part will always be the sesame seeds. Which, to be honest, I'm not a real fan of usually, but toasted in a dry pan and added to the meatball mixture, they just bring this satisfying crunch and texture without having to do any of that breadcrumb rolling thing. Perfect for busy days and hungry people!

Meatballs, previously: Tunisian meatballstomato and meatball risottochicken kofta curry.

Chickpeas, previously: chana chaatbutternut squash and chickpea curry.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Sesame Seeds
2. Bread
3. Chicken Mince
4. Water
5. Salt
6. Ground Cumin
7. Ground Coriander
8. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
9. Garlic
10. An Egg
11. Olive Oil
1. Chickpeas
2. Hot Smoked Paprika
3. Fresh Coriander
4. Lemon Juice
5. Garlic
6. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
7. Salt
8. Olive Oil

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, make the smashed chickpeas. Take a tin (400 grams) of Chickpeas.

Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well.

Throw them into a bowl.

 Once in, it's time to add the good stuff.

 First up, hot smoked paprika. I used the hot one but any smoked paprika will do.

 Add 1/2 teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika.

 Followed by a handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped.

 Then, take a lemon.

 Slice it in half.

Squeeze in about 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice.

 Then, take 1 Garlic Clove.

 Peel and finely chop it. 

 Add to the bowl.

 For a little spice ...

 ... a small pinch of Crushed Red Chilli Flakes.

 Add more, if you like - it's just that our crushed chillies at the moment are extra-hot.

Finally, 1/4 teaspoon Salt. Or, to taste.

 Time to smash!

 Grab a potato masher.

Give the chickpeas a good mash - you don't want to go too smooth so keep a few chickpeas whole.

To finish, a little Olive Oil, to taste.

 Drizzle it in.

Give it a stir and a taste - adjust the seasoning, if needed. Maybe it needs more salt? More lemon juice? Or more chilli? You are the boss of your kitchen people - do what you like!
Also, the original recipe added in a handful of pitted and chopped green olives - I'm not an olive person. But feel free to throw them in.

Next, it's onto the meatballs! And, I love how simple they are!

First job, toast up some sesame seeds.

I'm not usually a fan of the old sesame seed but it does bring some well-needed crunch to these meatballs.

To toast, place a dry frying pan over a medium heat. 

Take 2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds.

Pour them in (actually, place them in gently - they fly everywhere!) to the pan.

Stir constantly and let them toast until light brown and fragrant.

Set them aside to cool slightly.

Next, it's time to make breadcrumbs and once again, it could not be easier. But you could also use ready-made breadcrumbs.
Take 1 slice Bread. Any will do - no need to be fussy.

Roughly tear up and pop into a blender. I used a small one because who has time to wash the big one?!

Pop on the lid.

And, blitz!

Until you have crumbs.

I used brown bread but you could totally use white. White bread is usually a real treat for us in our house so there is no way I'm going to be wasting it on breadcrumbs.
Anyway, set the crumbs aside.

Now, we mix! Since these are chicken meatballs, I guess we'll need some chicken mince. Ps. You could also make this same recipe with lamb mince or even beef mince.

So, into a bowl, place 380 grams (13 ounces) Chicken Mince
Also, did you know you can make chicken mince at home? Just blend up boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thigh. Or a mix of both.

Then, throw in the breadcrumbs we made earlier.

Pour in 3 tablespoons Water.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander

Pinch of Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
All these spices and salt are according to my tastebuds, so feel free to adjust to as you like.

Next, garlic! I love garlic in meatballs. Take 2 Garlic Cloves.

Give them a peel and a fine chop and add them in.

Then, add in the toasted sesame seeds from earlier.

Finally, one of my favourite foods, the humble egg!

Crack 1 large Egg into a bowl.

And, pour it on in!

Give everything a stir and we're done. Well, except for the cooking.

To cook, heat a few tablespoons of Light Olive Oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Because I used chicken mince, I used a small ice cream scoop to shape my meatballs. I always find chicken mince a lot looser and stickier than lamb mince so the scoop really helps.

So, shape the mixture into balls - it does not have to be perfect.
Oooh, and if you're a bit unsure as to whether the seasoning is spot on, make a small meatball, fry it, munch it and see what you think!

Fry the meatballs over a medium heat until golden brown and cooked through. Do not be tempted to turn too early as this can break the meatballs - let them form a good crust underneath and then gently turn.

Finish frying all the meatballs, in batches, and get together all the extras.
(Ps. this recipe makes about 18 small meatballs).

Those extras include the smashed chickpeas from earlier.

My favourite minty yoghurt - you could make this one or just mix together plain yoghurt + mint sauce (love this stuff!!) + salt + ground cumin.

And, your favourite salad things. 

Drain the meatballs on paper towels and let's get ready to eat!

On my plate: sesame chicken meatballs + smashed chickpeas + coriander chutney + minty yoghurt + salad things + pickled peppers + fresh lemon.

Full Written Recipe:

Sesame Chicken Meatballs + Smashed Chickpeas.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes
Cook Time: About 10 minutes
Serves: About 3-4 people (makes about 18 small meatballs)


For the Smashed Chickpeas
1 (400 gram) tin Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped
3 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped
Small pinch Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
¼ teaspoon Salt
Drizzle of Olive Oil

For the Sesame Chicken Meatballs
2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
1 slice Bread
380 grams (13 ounces) Chicken Mince
3 tablespoons Water
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
Pinch of Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 large Egg
Light Olive Oil, to fry

To Serve
Minty Yoghurt


For the smashed chickpeas, take a bowl. Put in the chickpeas, smoked paprika, fresh coriander, lemon juice, garlic, red chilli and salt.

Grab a potato masher and mash the chickpeas. You don’t want to go too smooth – some of the chickpeas should still be whole.

Drizzle in the olive oil, stir and taste. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Set aside.

For the meatballs, first toast the sesame seeds. Place the seeds in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until light brown and fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Next, make the breadcrumbs. Simply blend the slice of bread in a processor and set aside.

Take a large mixing bowl. Put in the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, water, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chilli, garlic, toasted sesame seeds and the egg.

Mix together. Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Shape the meatballs with a small ice cream scoop or with your hands. Fry them in batches until golden brown and cooked through.

Drain on paper towels, and serve up with the chickpeas, minty yoghurt (plain yoghurt + mint sauce + salt + ground cumin) and salad.

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your meatballs,


Spice Enthusiast
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