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In preparing this dish, there are shortcuts; getting frozen meatballs, for one; or making them in advance; ditto for the potatoes. The rice and vermicelli pilaf is a traditional stew side dish but can be simply bread instead. The diced potatoes are fried adding a notable dimension of flavor to the stew (and of course, calories)
INGREDIENTS: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 lb. prepared kafta (can substitute Italian frozen meatballs)
- 1 lb. potatoes (yellow Yukon gold or a waxy variety preferably)
- 2 lb. tomatoes or replace with a large can of tomatoes plus a small can of tomato paste (1/4 cup diluted in one cup of water)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup oil+2 cups oil to fry the potatoes
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Rice pilaf with vermicelli as a side dish or bread
1. Pan-fry the onions in a little oil till soft and golden; add the tomatoes, diced, tomato paste and water; add the spices and simmer gently for 30minutes. Shape the kafta into meatballs and brown them (or substitute Italian meatballs) and set them aside. Peel and dice the potatoes and fry them in a separate skillet till golden; drain them and set them aside.
2. Add the browned meatballs and potatoes to the stew pot and let it bubble up gently for another 20 minutes; garnish with chopped parsley and serve with rice or bread.
NOTE: To make kafta, place ground beef (or a combo of beef and lamb, which is more moist and tastier and fattier) in the bowl of a food processor; add salt, 1/2 tsp each of pepper, paprika and allspice; add one cup of chopped onion and 1/2 cup of chopped parsley; mix till pasty.
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