This dish is an unusually striking combination of flavors that makes your taste buds tingle. It works well with something quite neutral in taste because it is very rich. It hails from an area of Turkey in the south, near the Aleppo region in Syria. I have had variations of this in both Turkey and Syria. When I first had these meatballs, they came at the end of a vast meal, yet room was made on the table and in our stomachs. The sizzling serving dish was scraped clean, and the extra sauce mopped up with copious amounts of flat bread.
– ¾ cup pitted dried sour (tart) cherries.
– 1 tbsp sugar.
– 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses.
– juice of 1 lemon.
– For the meatballs.
– 2 garlic cloves, halved and any green inner shoots removed.
– 2 small dried red chilies, finely chopped.
– 2 tsp ground coriander.
– pinch of salt.
– a little olive oil.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 1lb (450g) ground lamb.
– ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped.
– freshly ground black pepper.
Step 2: Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Crush the garlic, dried chilies, and ground coriander with a pinch of salt to make a paste. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Cook the paste for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the onion and sauté quickly, stirring, for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and transfer the onion mixture to a bowl with the lamb. Add the parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Roll the meat into small balls about the size of cherry tomatoes.
Step 3: Heat a clean heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil, and cook the meatballs in small batches until golden brown all over. Drain on paper towels. Add the meatballs to the cherry sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors. Serve as part of a large meal, as one of many dishes of simple grilled and marinated meats, vegetables, with lots of bread. Sour cherries The fresh sour cherries that are traditionally used for this dish are of such good quality that they are a bit difficult to come by unless you have a good Persian, Iranian, Turkish, or Lebanese grocer nearby. Dried sour cherries make a perfect substitute and are available from supermarkets.
Note : Lamb meatballs with sour cherry sauce