Pepper Monkey Lamb Meatballs

Dave Smith


Had to include this fantastic recipe because the marriage of fresh ginger, garlic, mint, feta cheese, spinach, and freshly ground lamb with complementary spicy seasonings grilled over direct heat yields an outstanding flavor. Cover them with Spicy Afghan Green Sauce and you'll be serving one of the most remarkable backyard barbecues ever. Friends who think they don't like lamb will rave about these meatballs. hide ›

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  • 1 bunch
    cilantro, fresh
  • 1
    jalapenos, fresh
  • 1 c
    mint, fresh
  • 3 can(s)
  • 1 can(s)
    greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 1
    lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tsp
    truvia® natural sweetener

  • 1 Tbsp
    cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp
    coriander seeds
  • 4
    cardamom pods, seeds
  • 2
    star anise, seeds
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp
    black pepper
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp

  • 5 lb
  • 1 medium
    onions, vidalia, peeled chopped
  • 2 tsp
    fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 clove
  • 1/2 bunch
    mint, fresh
  • 1/2 c
    feta cheese
  • 1 c
    spinach, fresh cooked

How to Make Pepper Monkey Lamb Meatballs


  1. Make the Spicy Afghan Green Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. This can be done 1 to 3 days in advance. It is best to make the sauce at least 1 day in advance to give the flavors time to blend.

    Preheat a grill to about 375°F for direct cooking.

    Make the meatballs: Place the cumin, coriander, cardamom seeds, and star anise in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool, then grind in a spice or coffee grinder. Add the turmeric, seasoned salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne and mix well.

    Place the ground lamb in a large bowl. Add the spices along with the onion, ginger, garlic, mint, feta, and spinach and mix well, but do not overmix as this will result in a tough texture. Form the mixture into meatballs 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

    Place the meatballs on the grill grate and cook for about 14 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer, rotating the meatballs frequently to ensure that they caramelize evenly.

    Serve with the dipping sauce.

    Notes: You may substitute store-bought garam masala for the homemade spice mixture here.

    You can have a butcher grind the meat, or you can do it yourself at home, using a meat grinder or food processor.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pepper Monkey Lamb Meatballs

Course/Dish: Beef, Meat Appetizers

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