For vegetarian oriental meatballs
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl with a generous amount of water and add salt. Soak them for 12 hours or overnight, until they soften.
- When ready, drain, rinse and dry off. Transfer to a food processor and pulse a little, making sure you don’t create a paste.
- Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil, baking powder, cumin, lemon zest, lemon juice, grated onion, grated garlic, finely chopped mint, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- Shape the mixture into oval shaped meatballs, dredge in flour.
- Place a deep pan over medium to high heat, add the oil and let it get hot. Carefully add the meatballs in batches and fry until they turn golden. Transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels to drain.
For the sauce
- In a shallow pot, add the olive oil, finely chopped onion, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, dry oregano, pepper, chili, minced garlic, granulated sugar and tomato paste. Sauté.
- Add the grated tomato, salt and pepper. Lower heat and add the fried meatballs to the pot. Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve with boiled basmati rice, thyme, fresh oregano and olive oil.