Sunday, 27 January 2019

Moroccan Meatballs With Apricots

Who doesn't love a meatball?  Obviously all the vegos and vegans, but apart from them :=)  And this has fruit so it has to be good for you, don't you think?  And best of all, it's baked rather than fried.  Yippee!  Me and frying are not friends.  Or is that frying and I?  As regular readers know, I get hubby to do any necessary frying - on the back deck, and sitting on layers of newspaper!

I discovered on making this recipe that the author had been very circumspect with his flavourings.  Mr P. and I found this somewhat bland so I have upped the spices, etc for more oomph.  Maybe my tastebuds have gone on holidays, but I seem to need/like more oomph in my food these days.  Adjust according to your tastes, my friends.  

just a few meatballs!

Recipe adapted and re-written by Sherry's Pickings: original recipe - 
chef Rob Kelly, as written by Sharnee Rawson

Makes many:-)


1 cup (150g.) cooked couscous - see notes below

750g. beef or lamb mince

2 brown (or red) onions, diced

2 tbs fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp turmeric powder

3-4 tsp cummin powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup (125 mLs) chicken stock, cooled

1 cup (180g.) fresh apricots, diced - you need 3-4 large apricots

3/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1/2-1 tsp sesame seed oil

1½ cups (210g.) sesame seeds


1 cup (250 mLs) Greek yoghurt

1/2 tsp harissa paste or chilli paste of your choice

1 small Lebanese cucumber, finely diced

1 tsp minced ginger (optional)

1 tbs parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp sumac (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

about a dozen grinds of black pepper

2-3 tsp lime or lemon juice


Cook the couscous as per packet instructions - usually add one cup of boiling water to one cup couscous, leave for 5 minutes then fluff up with a fork

Place all the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl, EXCEPT the sesame seeds

Give it a good stir, then use your hands to make large walnut-sized balls

Roll them in the sesame seeds

Bake on a lined baking tray at 190C for about 20 minutes, till cooked through

Stir the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, and serve with the meatballs

Serve with a chopped salad if desired - I used the rest of the couscous with tomato/cucumber/chickpeas/fetta and black olives


I made up 1 cup (190g.) of uncooked couscous with 1 cup (250 mLs) boiling water = 2¾ cups cooked couscous

I zapped the onions in my wee food processor - so easy

I had a large piece of ginger, so I threw the whole lot (chopped into large chunks) into my processor, and froze the rest for later

zap or dice your onions 

couscous ready

ready for mixing and shaping

nearly finished the rolling!

dressing ready for stirring 

ready for eating

apricot artwork by Sherry's Pickings


  1. Moroccan food fascinates me. Some day I hope to get there and try it in its native form, but meanwhile I have tried Moroccan restaurants in Ypsilanti Michigan and Avignon France -- an improbable duo of locations.

    I am very fond of the spices that are used in Moroccan foods, especially the mixture called Ras el Hanout. Putting couscous and Harissa in the meatball mixture sounds like a great idea!

    best... mae at

    1. Ooh yes a good ras el hanout is a fabulous thing. I was surprised how bland these were till i added extra flavourings. Thanks for dropping by Cheers sherry x

  2. I like more oomph in my food too Sherry. These look just great. If I had fresh apricots I would make these right now as I have all the ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe.Cheers, Pauline x

    1. hi pauline
      hubby suggests using even more apricots as he said he couldn't taste them! i think they're more of a filler than a flavouring especially with fruit being so tasteless these days- sadly. cheers sherry

    2. I wonder if dried apricots -- soaked before using -- would have the same texture effect and more flavor. I assume the moisture in the apricots contributes to the meatballs' overall quality.

      best... mae at

    3. i think that's a great idea Mae. The soaking would plump them up and get rid of enough of the sugar to add great flavour. The very firm fruit i had to use didn't have much flavour at all. cheers sherry

  3. Hi Sherry. These sound very delicious and easy, especially since Maus rolls the meatballs in our house. 🤣

    1. hi glenda
      great to see you here. yes it took quite some time to roll all these little babies. and i kept running out of sesame seeds and had to frantically hunt around in the pantry for more. i ended up using my furikake instead:) cheers sherry

  4. Yum! That sounds delicious Sherry. Love a meatball and always have :D

  5. Baked, not fried, and all those spices, these meatballs have a lot going for them.

  6. Sherry,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. We are fans of Moroccan cooking and these meatballs with the sesame seeds look very interesting.

    1. they were good but just needed a bit of a flavour boost. that's why i upped the spices etc in his recipe. cheers sherry

  7. Looks super yummy and good for you - love the addition of chilli :)

    1. thanks Michaela. lovely to see you here! cheers sherry

  8. Yes, I love a good meatball but can't get past the apricot. I don't like them basically in any form. I love the couscous on a Monsters Inc plate, BTW.

    1. hi fiona
      i love that plate too! brings out the kid in me - not that that's very far away. i reckon you could happily leave the apricots out or substitute with another fruit or maybe just a bit of water-soaked bread. cheers sherry

  9. I am fond of everything Moroccan and these sound delicious. It's almost like a tagine in a meatball, fruit and lamb is a winner.

    1. hi liz
      strangely for aussies, hubby and i don't like lamb so i used beef:) that whole roast lamb thing never appealed to either of us here....

  10. Wow, interesting recipe. Like the idea of using couscous in the meatballs -- havne't seen that before. This looks incredibly flavorful -- thanks!

    1. Thanks KR for stopping by. I made so many we had them the next two nights! Very effective:)

  11. Now this is fabulous. Lamb and apricots together are so lovely.

    1. so i hear:) not being a lamb fan, i had to make this with beef- but still delicious... thanks for dropping by.

  12. Fascinating recipe! Love all the flavors - especially the apricot! Definitely a must try!

  13. So glad to find you :-) Will be back definitely !


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