This recipe is courtesy of Eden Grinshpan, from her cookbook "Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day."
Yield: 6 - 8 Servings
- Make the meatballs: In a medium bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 2 minutes. Squeeze the bread between your hands until you’ve removed as much moisture as possible. Discard the milk.
- In a large bowl, combine the soaked bread, beef, onion, parsley, garlic, egg, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, curry powder, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Mix gently with your hands until combined (the pita will break up and blend as you go). Measure out the mixture in ½-cup portions and roll into balls. Sprinkle with salt.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pot) over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the meatballs all over until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the sauce: Add the oil to the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and season with salt and black pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, Aleppo pepper, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, curry powder, and cumin. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the vegetables are soft and the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, the tomatoes, chickpeas, cilantro, lemon, tomato paste, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened slightly. Check the seasoning, adding more salt if desired.
- Place the seared meatballs in the sauce. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have intensified, 35 to 40 minutes
- To serve: Serve as is or with fluffy basmati rice.