This Syrian dish is easy to make with only a few ingredients. The first time I made it for family my grandmother was sorely disappointed I didn’t make spaghetti with it. Despite my insistence that these were not Italian meatballs in a marinara sauce she was adamant that meatballs are always to be served with spaghetti or otherwise you clearly did not know how to throw a dinner party.  As you can see from the final photo here I once again went against “tradition” and served it with rice.

I started with 1.5 lbs of ground beef. The beef I used is pretty fatty – but you can use 80/20 or less fat depending on how much you like to sacrifice flavor for health and your figure.


Add 3 eggs


Add 2 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of matzoh meal (or breadcrumbs), and 2 tsp of dried Aleppo pepper. The Aleppo pepper is pretty easy to find but if you cannot you can use other types of crushed red pepper. Just be cognizant of the spice level as Aleppo pepper is not that spicy.


Stir everything together and form into meatballs. I made mine golf ball sized. Then brown them on all sides in a pan with a tb of vegetable oil. It took me about 3 batches to do them all. They do not need to be fully cooked as they will cook more later.


Next, pour out the extra fat from your pan and make the sauce: one 6 ounce can of tomato paste, 1 Tb of tamarind paste (if you can’t find it anything sour will work like pomegranate molasses), 1 entire lemon – juiced, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of sugar, amd 1 cup of water.



Stir the sauce and add back the meatballs. Simmer for 30 mins uncovered.


Here is the final product served with rice with chickpeas and onions (NOT SPAGHETTI)


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