Israeli Meatballs Simmered In Tehina

Spiced beef meatballs in velvety Tahini

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Servings: 6

Prep Time: 00:45

Cook Time: 00:30

Main Ingredients

2 cups raw tahini

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup lime juice


2 lbs . lean chopped meat

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup breadcrumbs, (panko or matza meal)

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, washed and patted dry, stemmed and finely chopped (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon more for garnish

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons pistachio halves or pine nuts, roasted or browned in dry pan. reserve for garnish.

2 tablespoons canola oil for pan


1In the bowl of food processor, mix tahini with 4 cups water, garlic and lime juice until it is thin but not watery. Season with salt and pepper, taste and set aside.

2Mix meat with all ingredients except reserved tahini (this will become your simmer sauce); parsley, paprika and pistachios (all for garnish).

3Mix meat so that all ingredients are integrated. Do not over- handle. Form into 1 inch rounds and then pat into small football shapes.

4Heat oil in large ovenproof pan or pot. When oil is shimmering, add meatballs and brown on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pan. You will need to brown in 2-3 rounds.

5When meatballs are browned, remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan of meat and onion crumbles and any extra oil that has pooled. (Another option is to brown the meatballs in a 350-375F oven on a parchment lined cookie sheet)

6Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with shelf set in middle position.

7Pour 1/2 of tehina mixture into bottom of ovenproof pot or cast iron pan. Place meatballs in the pan in a single layer. Pour remaining tehina over meat.

8Place pan in oven and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Check meat for doneness by cutting into one of the meatballs.

9If meat appears a little dry, drizzle 1/4-1/2 cup of thinned tehina over the meatballs and place pan back in oven to warm.

10Serve meatballs garnished with chopped parsley, pistachios and a sprinkle of paprika.

11Serving notes: These meatballs are delicious tucked into a lettuce wrap with extra tehina drizzled over the meat. They may also be tucked into a warmed pita or served over brown rice or your grain of choice.

Additional Notes

Adapted from

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