Taste of Cyprus Local Food Meatballs with tomato and cumin

Meatballs with tomato and cumin

Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead well with hands. Keep the mixture in the fridge for approximately 1 hour to thicken.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce: Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan or shallow saucepan and cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Add the tomato and simmer until it starts to thicken for 5-6 minutes.

hen add the cloves, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Reduce heat and continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes, until sauce is well-blended (but does not become dry) and remove from heat.

Take the mixture from fridge and shape oval meatballs. Heat plenty of oil in a small pan and fry meatballs until golden. Remove and leave to drain on kitchen paper.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a layer of meatballs in an oven-proof dish and pour over the sauce. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Prepare the pilaf rice: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan and wilt onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until warmed and coated with oil. Add the stock, bay leaves, cloves, salt and pepper and stir well. Leave to boil, cover saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a towel under the lid to absorb all liquids. Serve meatballs with tomato sauce and pilaf rice.


½kg lean beef mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, grated
2 slices stale village bread, without crust, soaked in red wine and drained
1 level tsp ground cumin
2 tbsps finely chopped parsley leaves
2 eggs, salt, pepper
Oil for frying

Tomato sauce:

4-5 ripe tomatoes, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 clove sticks
1 tbsp tomato paste diluted in a little water
1 level tbsp sugar
Salt, pepper

Pilaf rice:

2 cups basmati rice
½ onion finely chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
2 clove sticks
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves, salt, pepper

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