Spiced Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
Martha Stewart, Star-Telegram

(appetizer, Moroccan, beef, Greek yogurt, rice, sauce )

Spiced Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
Spiced Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
Spiced Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
Spiced Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt turns surprisingly velvety and decadent when cooked with cornstarch and egg yolks. Serve it over meatballs seasoned with a combo of cinnamon, cumin and cilantro, and you've got an updated Turkish kofta.

Comment: Read the instructions before deciding to make this. It is good, but there are a lot of steps involved.

Yield: 6 servings


1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic — 3 minced, 3 sliced
Kosher salt
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ C Panko breadcrumbs
1¼ C low-sodium chicken broth
1½ lb ground beef
1 large egg
½ C cilantro, coarsly chopped

3 large egg yolks
1½ C greek yogurt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
salt and black pepper to taste

For Serving
cooked rice
cilantro, coarsly chopped
Ground sumac and red-pepper flakes


  1. Onion paste: In large straight-sided skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion, minced garlic and 1½ tsp salt; cook, stirring until translucent, about 3 min. Add cumin and cinnamon, and cook stirring, about 1 min. more. Transfer mixture to food processor; process to a paste.
  2. Meatballs: In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and ¼ C broth; let stand 5 min. Add beef, onion paste, whole egg and cilantro. Mix with your hands to combine. With lightly dampened hands, form mixture into 28 meatballs (about 2 Tbsp. each).
  3. Meatballs continues: Heat 2 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches (do not crowd pan), cook meatballs until browned on all sides, about 7 min a batch. Transfer to a plate; pour off fat from skillet. Return meatballs to pan; add ¾ C broth and sliced garlic. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer just until meatballs are cooked through, about 6 min. Transfer meatballs to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and yogurt. In another bowl, whisk together cornstarch and remaining ¼ C broth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into broth and garlic mixture in skillet. Bring to a boil whisking constantly, then strain through a sieve into yogurt mixture, stirring to combine.
  5. Sauce continues: Return yogurt mixture to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until just bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 min; season with salt and black pepper. Add meatballs to sauce and heat through.
  6. Serve over rice, sprinkled with sumac, red-pepper flakes and cilantro.
  • Serve on toothpicks with the yogurt sauce on the side for dipping.
  • Add diced cucumbers, lemon juice, and fresh dill to yogurt sauce.
  • Serve with couscous instead of rice.
  • Or instead of plain old boring white rice, substitute a rice mix that includes brown rice, wheat, barley and wild rice. The more variety in the rice mix the more flavor it will have.

Nutritional Analysis per serving: 509 calories, 39 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 29 g protein, 235 mg cholesterol, 152 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 68 percent of calories from fat.