Lamb meatballs with cucumber raita

By: Nikki and Jordan Shearer

For this month’s issue, Masterchef NZ runners-up Nikki and Jordan Shearer take inspiration from Turkish sharing plates known as mezzes...

Lamb meatballs with cucumber raita
Lamb meatballs with cucumber raita

Makes approx. 30 meatballs
What would a mezze be without the inclusion of meatballs or the more traditional koftas? We have served our meatballs on small skewers but they would be equally good served on baby cos lettuce leaves. Raita is traditionally more Indian than Middle Eastern but the flavours are a perfect accompaniment to the spiced meatballs.


  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted 
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 handfuls flat leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4–5 Tbsp natural, unsweetened yoghurt
  • ½ cucumber, skin and seeds removed,
  • finely diced or grated
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped


  1. In a large bowl, add the mince.
  2. Grind the toasted seeds in a mortar and pestle until they turn into powder.
  3. In a small processor, blitz the onion, parsley, and garlic.
  4. Combine these ingredients together with the mince, adding the egg, zucchini, and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. With wet hands, form mixture into small meatballs.
  6. In a large fry pan over medium heat, cook the meatballs in oil until golden and cooked through. Keep warm.
  7. For the raita: In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, cucumber, cumin, and coriander.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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