North African Meatballs

Recipe by David Tanis

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12763-north-african-meatballs

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  •  Large pinch saffron, crumbled
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  •  All-purpose flour, for dusting
  •  Olive oil or vegetable oil

FOR THE COUSCOUS (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 cup giant couscous, m’hamsa, or medium couscous
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained
  •  Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon