Middle Eastern Meatballs with Cherries & Spicy Zhoug

A wonderful take on meatballs, if you love middle eastern flavours then this is the perfect dish. The meatballs are full of spices and the cherries add a slight sweetness to the finished dish. Serve with plain rice, pilaf or flatbread.
Serves 4
For the meatballs:
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp Lebanese 7 spice (shop bought or make your own)
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 egg
1 onion, finely diced
70g dried cherries
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Olive oil
For the zhoug:
50g coriander
30g parsley
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
2-6 jalapenos (depending how spicy you like!)
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
*Lebanese 7 spice: 1 tbsp ground allspice, 1 tbsp ground cloves, 1 tbsp ground nutmeg, 1 tbsp ground fenugreek, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp ground cinnamon.
  1. Combine the beef mince, Lebanese 7 spice, chilli flakes, egg, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt & some chopped parsley in a bowl, use your hand to mix together until well combined then form into meatballs.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on a medium/high heat and brown the meatballs on both sides. Turn the heat down and add the onions, fry for a few minutes to soften then add the dried cherries and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then cover. Turn the heat down and cook for around 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
  3. Meanwhile make the zhoug by blending all the ingredients together.
  4. Check the meatballs are cooked and season the sauce with salt. Garnish with a the zhoug, some chopped parsley and yogurt if you wish.