We are making crispy lamb meatballs with chickpeas and eggplant 🍆 today! Served with a yogurt dipping sauce and pita bread. Yum 😋 This perfect for a casual meal with friends or family on a summer patio!
Thanks @nytcooking for the inspiration behind the meal!
500 grams of ground lamb
1.5 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of coriander
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 tbsp of olive oil, plus more if needed
1 medium eggplant, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup of full-fat greek yogurt
3 cups of arugula
1 cup of cilantro, leaves, and tender stems only
1/2 a lemon
- Combine lamb, fennel, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Season with 1.5 tsp of salt, and black pepper to taste, mix until everything is well combined and the spices are evenly distributed
- Roll lamb mixture about 1.5 inches in diameter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and work in batches so the meatballs don't get crowded. Cook gently and rotate them occasionally so they are more or less brown on the sides. After they are evenly browned and cooked through, transfer them to a plate leaving the fat and any brown bits behind.
- Add 4 tbsps of oil to the skillet and add eggplant slices in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the slices, flipping them until they are browned on both sides. Add more oil as needed. After eggplant is cooked, transfer them onto a plate with the meatballs, and put them into the oven at 200 degrees to keep warm.
- Add remaining 3 tbsp of oil to the skillet, along with the chickpeas. Season the chickpeas with paprika, a sprinkle of red chili flakes, salt, pepper, and coriander. Shake skillet and stir occasionally until chickpeas are browned.
- Season yogurt with salt and pepper. Add chopped up mint leaves (if available). Smear onto a bottom of a large plate or serving platter. Top with meatballs, eggplant, and chickpeas, arugula, and cilantro. Squeeze the lemon over everything before serving!
Eggplant soaks up a lot of oil while frying. Make sure to add oil as necessary to prevent the pan from drying up. This helps cook the eggplant evenly to a nice golden color.