[WATCH] Middle Eastern lamb meatballs topped with a Benna yoghurt and herb sauce served with saffron flatbread

Watch Sean Gravina make Middle Eastern lamb meatballs served with broad beans and lemon, topped with a Benna yoghurt and herb sauce and served on simple saffron flatbread. 

Watch Sean Gravina make Middle Eastern lamb meatballs served with saffron flatbread

Middle Eastern lamb meatballs topped with a Benna yoghurt and herb sauce served with saffron flatbread


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g broad beans
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 8 spring onions
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp tarragon vinegar

Lamb meatballs

  • 300g minced lamb
  • 150g minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Baharat spice mix
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Handful parsley
  • Handful mint,
  • Handful dill,
  • Handful coriander
  • 1 egg beaten

Benna yoghurt and herb dip

  • 1 Benna yoghurt
  • Handful mint
  • Handful coriander
  • Handful dill
  • Handful tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey

Saffron yoghurt flatbread

  • 2 generous pinches saffron strands
  • A little hot water
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Benna yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To make the saffron flat bread, put the saffron in a bowl and add just enough hot water to cover it. Leave to soak for 10min
  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and the baking powder.
  3. Pour in the saffron and its soaking liquid, add another 100ml of warm water and mix thoroughly until you have a lump free dough. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour; if its too dry, add a tiny drop more warm water.
  4. Knead the dough for 2-3 mins on a floured work surface until smooth and elastic.
  5. Place in a clean bowl, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 15-20 mins.
  6. Place all of the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and plenty of pepper and mix well.
  7. Form into balls about same size of a golf ball.
  8. Heat some olive oil in an extra large frying pan for which you have a lid.
  9. Fry half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning them until they are brown all over, approx. 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the meatballs from the pan and add another ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Remove from the pan and wipe it clean.
  11. While the meatballs are cooking, blanch the broad beans into a pot with plenty of salted boiling water for 2 mins, drain and refresh under cold water.
  12. Remove the skins from half the broad beans and discard the shells.
  13. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan in which you seared the meatballs.
  14. Add the thyme, garlic and spring onions and sauté over a medium heat for 5 mins.
  15. Add the unshelled broad beans, half of the lemon juice, enough of the stock to almost cover the bread beans and season with salt and pepper.
  16. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 mins.
  17. Return the meatballs to the pan with the broad beans.
  18. Add the remaining stock, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25 mins. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. If it is very runny, remove the lid and reduce a little. Once the meatballs stop cooking they will absorb a lot of juice so make sure there is plenty of sauce at this point.
  19. Add the vinegar and remove from the heat until ready to serve.
  20. Add the remaining herbs and a little lemon juice, the shelled broad beans and stir very gently.
  21. Prepare the Benna yoghurt sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together and set aside.
  22. Remove the dough of the flatbread from the fridge and cut into thick circles.
  23. Roll the dough into rounds approx. 2cm thick.
  24. Cook the dough in a really hot, dry pan for 3 mins on each side until the bread is slightly browned.
  25. Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a little water, if needed, to get enough sauce.
  26. Serve the meatballs covered in broad beans and topped with Benna yoghurt and herb sauce and flatbread.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 24 April, 2015.