saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

This is a true fusion dish blending the flavors of Kashmir with Persian cooking. The fennel and dried ginger in the meatballs is so delicate yet intense. Good minced lamb is best but you can use any combination of lamb, beef and veal. I added a 1/2 amount ground turkey to make it lighter but you can make it all lamb.

Persian cooking gives us Kalam Polo which is a hearty meal made with white cabbage, beef meatballs and rice.  I have been inspired by this and the spices used in Kashmiri cuisine to make this dish.

cabbagemeatballs-

For readers who follow my blog you know I love saffron and often think of the fields in Kashmir that grow this beautifully purple flower harvested just within a few weeks for its incredible color and flavor. Check out Kashmir Box if you need to buy this right from the fields.

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Use white cabbage in this dish to absorb the golden saffron color, you will not miss the rice so this version is carb free. Cut the cabbage finely so it cooks quickly and evenly. The turmeric and saffron with give it the beautiful color and flavor.

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saffron infused lamb meatballs and cabbage

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a fusion dish inspired by kashmiri and persian cooking

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb lamb
  • 1/2  lb turkey
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp hing ( asafetida)
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Pink Salt to taste

Cabbage

  • 1/2  head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp saffron blooming in a tablespoon of hot water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)
  • Chopped Parsley and Mint for garnish
  • Pink salt to taste

Directions

  • Squeeze the water out of the grated onion through a muslin cloth or a colander
  • Combine the lamb and turkey and mix in the onion and ground spices with your hands. Add the oil and crack in the egg. Combine well.
  • With wet hands make the meatballs the size of golf balls and line them on a baking tray
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and set aside
  • In a pan, add 2 tbsp of mustard oil. Let it get to smoking hot temperature.
  • Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they barely get brown.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for about 10 mins until tender
  • Add the blooming saffron and the turmeric and continue to cook for 5 mins.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Add the meatballs and combine until heated through.
  • Garnish with chopped Parsley and Mint

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Sharing this at the fiesta at Angie’s with co-hosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Elaine @ Foodbod

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Mouthwatering with all those great flavors Zeba!

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    1. Thanks johanne- the flavors do touch all your senses 🙂

      Like

  2. chefjulianna says:

    This is just gorgeous, Zeba! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Julianna. The aroma and the black

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      1. Sorry the send button moved too fast for me. I meant that the aroma and the the taste of saffron is jus beautiful

        Like

  3. urfi says:

    Looks and sounds awesome! Will try soon😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zeba this is absolutely wonderful, I love everything about this recipe. I love using saffron it’s one of my favorite spices. This is something I can eat, no rice needed. Love the cabbage with the meatballs.

    Like

    1. Thanks Suzanne. So glad to hear you love saffron- I just got some new stock from Kashmir and very excited about using it. Would love to send you some if you inbox me your address. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow thank you Zeba would love some. Will email my address thank you!!

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      2. anytime dear…it’s soul warming to share. i think you have my email but if not, let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning colours and flavours, Zeba 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this with everyone at Fiesta Friday xx

    Like

  6. Jhuls says:

    I love the flavours in here! I have a small bottle of saffron and this looks like a good recipe to try! Thanks for sharing at FF party, Zeba.

    Like

    1. Thanks Jhuls and yes this will be a good use for your stock of saffron 🙂 do try it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loretta says:

    Oh wow Zeba! Look at all those colors and spices – I will definitely be making these, I love the fact that there are no carbs in this recipe. I can only imagine the wonderful aroma when this was cooking.

    Like

    1. Loretta thanks 🙏. Having no carbs in such a hearty dish was a great outcome!!! Do try it.

      Like

  8. I bet these are delicious, and love the no carbs. Great mix of spices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Liz. No carbs is a great bonus!!

      Liked by 1 person

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