Baharat Spiced Lamb Meatballs


This recipe is from Russell Blaikie’s recently released cookbook Must Eat. Blaikie is the chef extraordinaire behind Must wine bar in Perth and Muster in Margaret River, WA.

Baharat spice mix

Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mix and the perfect partner for lamb. Blaikie recommends using lean lamb, and to moisten the breadcrumbs with wine before combining them into the mix – which ‘lightens’ the meatballs.

  • 30 g ground black pepper
  • 6 g cardamom powder
  • 30 g cinnamon powder
  • 8 g clove powder
  • 18 g coriander powder
  • 30 g cumin powder
  • 18 g nutmeg powder
  • 30 g paprika powder

Directions: Sift the spices into a large bowl, mix well and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Before using, roast the mix in a 180°C oven for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavours. Makes 170gm.


  • 250 g finely chopped onion
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 g baharat spice mix (go to end of recipe for directions)
  • 120 g tomato paste
  • 60 g breadcrumbs
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 kg lamb mince
  • 1 egg
  • 20 g sea salt

Directions: Makes 30 to 40 meatballs.

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  • Place the chopped onion and oil in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring regularly until the onion softens and becomes a rich golden brown. If the onion becomes dry or catches on the bottom of the pan, moisten with a little water.
  • Add the garlic, cayenne and baharat to the onion, and cook for a further 3 minutes, then add the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes and cool.
  • Tip the breadcrumbs into a bowl and moisten with the white wine. Add the caramelised onion mix, lamb mince, egg and salt, then mix well to combine.
  • Scoop a tablespoon of the mix into your hand, roll into a round ball and place onto an oven tray lined with baking paper; repeat until you have rolled all of the mix.
  • Place the meatballs into the oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (break one in half to check that they are just cooked through).
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and place in a large casserole dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.


  • 100 g finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 g tomato paste
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.25 litres tomato purée
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • sea salt & freshly
  • ground black pepper


  • Place the onion, garlic and oil into a large saucepan over low-medium heat to sweat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook while stirring for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for salt and pepper, increase heat to medium-high and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Season and pour over the cooked meatballs.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes until heated through.

Thanks to Russell Blaikie for this recipe.

Tags: Dinner
Category: Recipes

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