Turkish Meatballs – Saliha Mahmood Ahmed (Muslim Aid)

Celebrity chefs Madhur Jaffrey, Ainsley Harriott and Saliha Mahmood Ahmed are supporting charity Muslim Aid’s Ramadan campaign this year by each contributing a delicious and healthy recipe.

Here’s the third from 2017’s Masterchef UK Champion Saliha: Turkish Style Almond Meatballs, Almond Muhammara dip with Toasted Pitta Bread.

Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed Ramadan Recipe Muslim Aid“I love this recipe at Iftaar because the whole family can share the meatballs and dips with the pitta bread, creating the most wonderful communal, festive atmosphere at home.

“The British Nutrition Foundation gives some very informative details about what the ideal Iftaar meal should consist of, and the mixture of protein, starch and vegetables in this recipe will certainly nourish your family in this holy month and beyond,” she said.

These recipes have been shared to help keep you healthy and maintain your energy levels during these long days of fasting.

Muslim Aid is one of the top 20 UK relief and development agencies providing humanitarian assistance to disaster affected countries and helping poor communities overcome poverty since 1985.

To donate your Zakat or for further information visit muslimaid.org.


For the Meatballs:

  • 400grams minced lamb
  • 180grams almonds very finely chopped by hand
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • ½ finely chopped bunch parsley
  • ½ finely chopped bunch dill
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 heaped teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 slices of stale white bread

For the dip:

  • 3 large red or yellow peppers
  • 45grams fresh breadcrumbs
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 grated cloves garlic
  • 50 grams almonds very finely chopped by hand
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve: 4-8 toasted pitta breads

Optional: salad leaves of your choice.


  1. Place the minced lamb and almonds in a bowl together with the garlic, chopped tomato. parsley, dill, onion, chilli flakes and beaten egg. Season with salt to taste.
  2. Soak the bread in a small amount of water and mash the bread in your hands until it starts to disintegrate when you press it between your fingers. Add the wet bread to the lamb mince and give the ingredients a good mix with your hands.
  3. Allow the lamb mince to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge before shaping into small flat patties and frying in small batches on a medium heat for approx. 2-3 minutes each side.
  4. Rub the peppers with olive oil and place in a 220-degree oven until the peppers have scorched- this will take around 30-45 minutes. Once the peppers have cooled, remove as much of the skins as you can and place the remaining pepper flesh into a food processor with the breadcrumbs, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, chilli flakes and garlic. Blend carefully as you still want the mixture to have some texture.
  5. To complete the dip, pour the pepper mixture into a bowl and stir in the almonds and olive oil. Season with salt to taste. Serve alongside the meatballs and pitta breads, with fresh salad of you prefer.

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