Recipe Review: North African Meatballs (Boulettes), Couscous, Roasted Tomatoes


Many countries serve meatballs as comfort food, as David Tanis explains in the New York Times.  A couple weeks ago he published a French/North African version called boulettes that can be made with ground beef or lamb, chopped parsley and cilantro, and  an exotic mixture of spices: turmeric, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, paprika, and cayenne.  The meatballs are dusted with flour, browned in a saute pan, and then simmered in a tomato-saffron stock.  He pairs it with Israeli couscous and roasted tomatoes.

I am going to try a new format with my recipe review.  These are the factors I consider for the bottom line if a recipe is worth doing.  How delicious is it?  How long does it take?  How much does it cost?  There are so many recipes out there that I haven’t made yet – would I make this one again?  If readers have any other suggestions for what they would like to know, please let me know.

Total time: about 2 hours active time

Complexity: multiple steps for the boulettes, including making the tomato-saffron broth beforehand, but nothing too technical.  The roasted tomatoes and couscous are very easy.

Cost: about $10, but I already had all of the spices on hand.  Buying new spices for this dish would be expensive.

Deliciousness: good (3 of 5 stars).  The boulettes are soft, juicy, and aromatic with spices.  They go well with the roasted tomatoes and couscous.

Worth making once: yes, to try this flavor profile

Will I make again: no

Link to recipe here.

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2 thoughts on “Recipe Review: North African Meatballs (Boulettes), Couscous, Roasted Tomatoes

  1. I still think “How healthy is it?” should factor into your criteria. Lower priority although for photo documenting purposes, “How aesthetic is it?” Also would relable as Israeli couscous yes? Life is good again, as I’m getting nearly daily posts on your blog! =))

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