Daoud basha with vermicelli rice
This Middle Eastern meatball stew is one of our favourites when we’re on the lookout for a dish that’s both comforting and impressive. Often, daoud basha includes potato, however we’ve opted to serve ours with saffron-spiked vermicelli rice and flatbreads to scoop out the rich, delicious sauce.
Recipe by: Goody Kitchen
Start with the meatballs. Combine the onion, mince, spices, herbs and 1 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper then mix really well. Wet your hands then form the mixture into 16 equal-sized balls.
Set a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil then brown the meatballs, in batches, until they are browned all over – approx 4-6 minutes. (The meatballs won’t be fully cooked through as they will finish cooking in the sauce.) Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Return the pan to a medium heat and start the sauce. Cook the onion and carrot for 4-6 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the garlic, stir until fragrant, then mix in the tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the sieved tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and top up with 100ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer then stir in the molasses.
Pop in the meatballs and simmer slowly for another 10-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked and juicy and the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the defrosted peas to cook through and the parsley.
While the sauce cooks, make the rice. Rinse the basmati in cold running water until the water runs clean. Set a saucepan with the ghee over a medium heat. Cook the vermicelli for 2-3 minutes until it turns golden brown. Add the rice, 300ml water, a pinch of salt and the saffron. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff up with a fork.
Serve the rice and meatballs garnished with the pomegranate seeds, crispy onions and flatbread on the side.
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