Spicy meatball tagine with bulgur & chickpeas

Who knew meatballs could be 4 of your 5-a-day? This healthy tagine is full of flavour and low on fat, just make sure you choose a lean mince with 5% fat

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:45 mins
    plus chilling
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 484
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 47g
  • sugars 15g
  • fibre 15g
  • protein 40g
  • salt 1.1g


  • 2 onions, 1 quartered, 1 halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 500g pack extra-lean beef mince
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 4 large carrots, cut into batons
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, zest removed with a potato peeler, then chopped
  • 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • ? pack fresh coriander, chopped
  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander


  1. Put the quartered onion in the food processor and process to finely chop it. Add the minced beef, 1 tbsp tomato purée, the garlic, egg and chilli powder and blitz to make a smoothish paste. Divide the mixture into 26 even-sized pieces and roll into balls.

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 5-10 mins to lightly brown them. Tip from the pan onto a plate.

  3. Now add the sliced onion and carrots to the pan and stir fry briefly in the pan juices to soften them a little. Add the spices and pour in the tomatoes with 1 ½ cans of water then stir in the chopped lemon zest, remaining tomato purée, olives and bouillon powder. Return the meatballs to the pan then cover and cook for 15 mins until the carrots are just tender. Stir in the coriander.

  4. While the tagine is cooking, tip the bulghar into a pan with the chickpeas and water from the can. Add 2 cans of water, the bouillon and coriander. Cover and cook for 10 mins until the bulghar is tender and the liquid had been absorbed. Serve half with half of the tagine and chill the remainder for another night if you like.

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