Sometimes during a busy work week, all I think about is getting back to bed. I get so exhausted that alI think about be it during a break, in my fantasies, while in traffic, is that glorious moment I will finally sink into my cosy bed. I kid you not! With all that fatigue, it usually is difficult to whip up a saucy and memorable meal, hence I settle for whatever is left over, have my dinner and jump to bed.
During the weekends however, I try to break the monotony of the “weekday” meals with something exciting and tantalizing. This week I made my Matata meatballs that usher in the weekend in the most grand scale. Matata is a swahili word meaning disturbance. I named these meatballs ‘Matata Meatballs” because they sure do shake things up but in the most amazing way yet!
Trust me, you will have to eat this three days in a row before you get satisfied!
You can always buy ready-made meatballs from the supermarket, but I always like to make my own at home because I know exactly what is in it and I can add a lot more flavorful ingredients that will make them more tasty.
Without further ado, lets get down to business. Here is what you will need:
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 3/4 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 5 garlic cloves
- 5 finely chopped ripe tomatoes
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 3 hoho ( one halved, two finely chopped)
- 1 large carrot
- finely chopped coriander
- 2 kg of ground beef
Do not be intimidated by this relatively long list. We shall go step by step and I want to to envision yourself doing this, with a smile, and you will see how easy it really is :-).
To make things easier for myself, I always prepare everything the day before I actually make the meatballs so that I do not get too tired and save enough energy to enjoy this meal. This will work for you too!
Pound or crush your garlic. Once it has turned into a paste, add half of it to the minced beef. The other half will be used while cooking.
Then take the halved green bell pepper and grate it into the mixture. Make it as fine as you possibly can.
Then add all the spices at once. Mix the entire contents of the bowl until it is even through out. I like mixing with my hands because its easier to ensure everything is evenly spread out as opposed to using a spoon.
You may let this rest overnight before making your balls or you may start immediately, it really wont make a difference.
While rolling your balls, ensure not to have large cracks on the surface or they will come apart when you boil them. Make the surface as even as you can,but small cracks pose no harm so do not over-think the whole process. I like my meatballs to be bite size so I make mine medium sized.
Place them gently in your sufuria, they can touch but make sure they do not stick to each other because we want separate meatballs.
While adding the water for boiling, pour the water slowly, preferably lining the side of the sufuria so that they do not come apart. Boil them for about 30 minutes. Note that the boiling time may vary according to the size of your rolled balls, so make sure to cut one and test if its cooked through.
After you have confirmed that they are cooked, remove them from the heat and set them aside for the next exciting phase.
Put your onions in your sufuria, together with the remaining pound garlic and let them saute until the onions are soft. Be carefull not to burn the garlic because this will make everything bitter.
Add your chopped tomatoes (you can use grated tomatoes). Let them stay on the fire for about three minutes then add the tomato puree. The tomato puree is very important in this dish because it thickens the sauce, and gives it a deeper, richer color.
Add hot water to this mixture to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and also to increase the volume of the sauce. Preferably, add half-a-cup at a time so that the sauce remains thick does not get too diluted.
Then, put your meatballs in the tomato sauce and mix.
Add two tablespoons of Royco spice mix and 1 teaspoon of salt.
I usually mix my royco and salt in a small bowl with hot water before adding them to the sufuria. This allows it to mix faster and evenly with your dish and eliminates the possibility of biting into a ball of royco as you eat.
Let the meatballs simmer for 8 minutes then add your carrots. I chop mine really small because they not only look nice and neat, but they cook alot faster. After about 5 minutes add your finely chopped green bell pepper.
Smells soooooo gooooood at this point!!!!
Mix it all up. Put 3/4 of your finely chopped coriander mix and serve immediatelly. Leave the rest for your garnish.
Have your Matata Meatballs together with, rice, mokimo, mashed potatoes, spaghetti or with my all time favourite, Ugali.
I don’t know what has been in your tummy this weekend, but I do know that this should be IT! Doesn’t it look amazing?
Surprise your loved ones with these tantilizing, spicy juicy meatballs this weekend!
Till next time’
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