Keftes, or Syrian Meatballs

These little Syrian meatballs are totally different from the ones we eat on top of spaghetti. Keftes tend to be smaller and are cooked in a sweet and sour tomato-based sauce and are eaten over rice. They’re one of my favorite Syrian dishes, and though they’re usually served as part of a whole spread of meats, salads and vegetables (sometimes they’re not even the only serve-over-rice dish), I like to make them the main event on a weeknight!

Keftes, or Syrian Meatballs

Ingredients:

For the keftes:

  • 1 lb chopped meat
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons matzah meal
  • salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the keftes together and form into balls, about 2 tablespoons in size.
  2. Brown the meatballs in a little bit of olive oil in a pot.
  3. Add all of the sauce ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower the fire, cover and let simmer for 40 minutes to an hour, making sure the keftes are cooked through.
  5. Serve over rice.

Oh, and happy birthday Rebekah!

  • Danielle Toussie

    I’d never heard of these until reading your post and then last night I went to my Syrian family’s house for Shabbat in Savion, Israel, and they had them as part of a whole spread of meats, salads, and vegetables. SOOOO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you make them for me when I come back to NY in January? Please please please.

  • Danielle Toussie

    I’d never heard of these until reading your post and then last night I went to my Syrian family’s house for Shabbat in Savion, Israel, and they had them as part of a whole spread of meats, salads, and vegetables. SOOOO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you make them for me when I come back to NY in January? Please please please.

  • Deborah Galimidi

    can i skip browning the meatballs or is that crucial???

  • Evelyn Salama

    thank you! i was too lazy to go to my cookbook to find recipe and was making a list of shopping ingredients on my computer. its so nice that I can search basic syrian cooking and find it.

  • cheree choo

    what can i use instead of tamarind?

    • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ steph

      you can use prune instead

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