Soutzoukàkia - Cumin flavored meatballs in rich tomato sauce

Nov 11, 2012

    In classic Greek cuisine we don't use a great variety of spices, except pepper of course, cinnamon, cloves or allspice in tomato based sauces and, rarely, nutmeg in flour based sauces. 
     Some recipes, though, which have  an eastern origin but which have been completely incorporated in our cuisine contain different spices than we normally use. Soutzoukàkia are meatballs flavored with cumin and cooked in a rich tomato sauce. What makes this dish different is the cumin, an exotic flavored spice used widely in the Middle East, India and Mexico; cumin is also one of the spices used in curry powder. If you eliminate cumin from this recipe you will simply have ordinary meatballs, not a bad thing but we all need something exotic every now and then.
     Soutzoukàkia are usually served with fried potatoes, steamed rice or mashed potatoes. Tzatziki is a matching side dish giving freshness to this meal.
Believe it or not, soutzoukakia taste much better the day after, maybe because the aromas have spread more evenly over time.


Serves 4

500gr ground beef 
70gr olive oil
120gr water
90gr dried bread crumbs
1-2 garlic cloves
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 egg beaten
2Tbsps ouzo (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

     Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form bite-sized oval shaped meat balls with your hands and dredge in flour. Heat 1 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs in batches. Then remove and drain on paper towels before transferring to a platter. Set aside.

For the tomato sauce:

600gr peeled and diced ripe tomatoes (canned tomatoes work fine too)
2Tsps tomato paste
300gr water
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed
½ tsp cumin powder
1Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste 
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add all the ingredients and simmer for 10 min until the sauce thickens slightly. 

Add  the soutzoukàkia to the sauce and cook for 10 more min.

Serve warm.

No comments

Post a Comment