Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Yoghurt and Herbs (Serves 6)

680g ground lamb, not too lean (from a cut like shoulder or breast, not leg)

½ cup breadcrumbs

2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ cup finely diced red onion

1 tsp toasted ground cumin

1 tsp toasted ground coriander

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne

3 eggs

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup plain, very tart yoghurt (if using Greek-style yoghurt, thin it with milk and lemon juice)

1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

60g crumbled feta cheese

½ tsp sumac

Crushed red-pepper flakes, to taste

Turmeric, for garnish (optional)

3 tbs chopped mint

2 tbs chopped dill

Coriander sprigs

In a large bowl, use your hands to combine lamb, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, onion, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne.

Beat 2 of the eggs and add to meat, mixing until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat.

Using wet hands, break off walnut-sized pieces of lamb mixture, roll into spheres and set aside on a baking sheet. You should have about 30 meatballs.

Heat oven to 110ºC. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.

When shimmering, add meatballs in one layer and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. (Work in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan.)

Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to blot any extra oil, then pile meatballs on a heatproof serving platter and keep warm in the oven. Pour off any excess oil from pan and turn heat to high. Add broth and bring to a simmer.

In a bowl, whisk together yoghurt; ½ teaspoon salt; remaining egg, beaten; and cornstarch. Pour yoghurt mixture in a thin stream into the hot broth, whisking constantly.

Turn heat down slightly and continue whisking until yoghurt is heated through and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Do not let mixture boil.

Pour hot yoghurt sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle crumbled feta, sumac and crushed red pepper on top. Finish with pinches of turmeric if using and sprinkle with mint, dill and coriander

Serve immediately with rice, orzo, pita bread or potatoes.

The New York Times