Kebabcheh (Meatballs with rice in yoghurt sauce)
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This recipe from Bulgaria has an Ottoman influence.
The meatballs freeze well, although you would need to make the sauce afresh.
- 500 g lamb or beef, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano.
- 400 ml lamb or beef stock
- 2 tablespoons long grain rice. Don't rinse this rice.
- 150 ml yogurt beaten with 2 egg yolks
- Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and knead until smooth.
- Divide the mixture into 20, and with wet hands, shape each piece into a small ball.
- Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat, gently add the meatballs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Carefully stir in the rice and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the pan and keep warm in a serving dish.
- Reduce the heat under the pan to the lowest setting and gradually stir in the yogurt and egg mixture.
- Stir continuously until the sauce thickens, without allowing it to boil.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve immediately.
This is delicious and will be made again. It's quite rich and creamy and I think would be nice with a few cold sliced tomatoes and some roasted sweet peppers or perhaps a Tomato and onion salad. Wedges of lemon would be nice too.
If like me, you can't bring yourself to add a whole teaspoon of salt to any recipe, just add what you are comfortable using, or none!
I guess the idea of the rice is to thicken the sauce. If you also find that fails, try the following; it worked fine for me:
Before adding the yogurt, add a teaspoon of arrowroot or cornflour to a saucer, add a tablespoon of the sauce and mix until combined, add this back to the sauce and heat until thickened. Leave to cool for a few minutes or the yogurt will split. Stir in the yogurt and continue the recipe.
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