Turmeric Meatballs with Crispy Chickpeas and Red Onions

This is a fun one. It is flavorful, colorful and creative use of basic pantry ingredients and spices.

The yogurt sauce really brings it together and gives it a Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern appeal.

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the Chickpeas:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, divided in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup panko, or another plain, dry breadcrumb
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, hot paprika, or red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or mint leaves, or a mix thereof, plus more to garnish

To Serve:

  • Juice from 1 lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chickpeas, fennel seed, cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric and half the red onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 25 minutes, until beginning to firm/crisp up.
  2. Meanwhile, make meatball mixture. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 1.75-inch meatballs.
  3. Remove sheet pan with chickpeas from the oven (leave oven on) and move the chickpeas to the sides of the pan, clearing a space in the center. Lightly coat center with a thin coat of oil, either brush or spray it on, just to be safe. Add meatballs to oiled area, not touching. Place baking sheet in oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, toss remaining onion slices with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  5. Combine yogurt with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  6. When meatballs are cooked, scatter remaining fresh herbs over the tray. Serve with lemony onions and yogurt, toasted pita wedges and hot sauce.