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Spicy meatballs with adjika and yogurt 

Spicy meatballs with adjika and yogurt 
Kyle Books

Cookbooks tend to divide into spatial categories: those that are close to home, essentially explorations of the author’s kitchen or family cuisine; and those that roam further afield to examine the food and culinary traditions of other cultures. “Samarkand: Recipes ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes  | Serves 4


  • 4 red chiles, seeded 
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup dill fronds
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Step 1In a food processor, combine the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, celery, cilantro, basil, dill, oils, vinegar, sugar and salt, pulsing to blend into a chunky paste. The flavor will become more rounded and mellow if you make the paste in advance and let sit for a while. This makes 3 cups adjika.


  • 1 slice white bread, crusts removed
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 9 ounces ground pork
  • 9 ounces ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon barberries
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • olive oil, for frying
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

Step 1Soak the bread in the milk for about 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ground pork and beef, onion, garlic, barberries, sumac, cayenne, coriander, pepper and salt, using your hands to combine everything thoroughly. Mash together the bread and milk to make a paste, then mix this into the meatball mixture. Roll into meatballs; I like them golf-ball sized.

Step 2Heat a slick of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs in batches. Start at a high heat to brown the outside, then lower the temperature until the meat is cooked through.

Step 3Serve with the adjika and a generous dollop of yogurt.

Note: Adapted from a recipe in “Samarkand” by Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford.


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