Pasilla Meatballs

The world on a plate. These Turkish inspired meatballs combine ingredients from far away places but come together in a delicious, homely meal. The spices, the pasilla sauce and the touch of pomegranate molasses are perfectly balanced with a light tahini dressing. An explosion of flavours best served with bulgur or rice.


Pasilla Sauce

-2 Pasilla Chillies 

-1 large garlic clove

-1/4 white onion

-1/2 jalapeño (seeds removed if desired)

-1 large Tomato

-1 tsp powder vegetable stock

-Salt & black pepper to taste

-1 1/2 Cup of water

-Olive oil

1 Remove the stem from the Pasilla chillies and carefully open them to remove the seeds. 

2 Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the chillies, garlic, onion, jalapeño and tomato. Cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the ingredients cool down in the saucepan for at least 15 minutes. 

3 With a slotted spoon, remove the chillies, garlic, onion, jalapeño and tomato and add them to a blender. The tomato should have enough liquid to process the sauce but if needed, you can add a little bit of the cooking water taking care that is not too much. This sauce should be nice and thick. 

4 In a pan, add a light drizzle of olive oil and once hot, pour the sauce, the vegetable stock and check for seasoning here. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the sauce for 15 minutes on low heat. 



-350g pork & beef mince blend 

-1 cup breadcrumbs

-1 tsp ground cumin

-1 tsp ground coriander

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp sea salt

-1 tsp black pepper

-1 garlic clove, minced

-1 egg

-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-olive oil

-1 Tbsp Unsalted butter

1 In a bowl, fluff up the meat with a fork to separate the mince evenly. Add the breadcrumbs and mix well with the fork. Add all the spices and the garlic and mix well again. You want the blend to be airy, not compacted.

2 Add the egg, the olive oil and stir evenly once more with the fork. Do not over mix. 

3 Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls in your hands. Do not press them too much. You want the meatballs to be fluffy, not hard. As soon as they hold together, they are good to go. 

4 Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil to it. Once the butter has melted and starts to bubble, add the meatballs and sear them on all sides. Turn them often until evenly browned. Remove from the pan and let them rest.


Pasilla Meatballs


-Pasilla sauce

-1 large carrot, diced

-½ white onion, roughly chopped

-1 cup aubergine, diced

-1 cup chickpeas, cooked

-½ red pepper, diced

-1 cup beef stock

-1 heaped tbsp tomato paste

-½ tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)

-1 tsp ground cumin

-1 tsp ground coriander

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp sea salt

-1 tsp black pepper

1 In the same frying pan where you made the meatballs, add the carrots and cook for 7 minutes. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 more minutes. Finally, add the aubergine and chickpeas and cook for 5 more minutes. 

2 Bring the heat down to medium-low and add the spices, tomato paste and pasilla sauce. Mix well and then add the beef stock and pomegranate molasses if using. Bring to a boil and adjust seasoning. 

3 Lower the heat to the minimum setting and return the meatballs to the pan. Spread them around and cook with the lid on for 25-30 minutes.


Tahini Sauce

-¼ cup tahini

-¼ cup Greek yoghurt

-½ lemon, juice

-extra virgin olive oil



1 Mix the tahini and yoghurt really well and add just a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt, sprinkle some Tajin and mix well. Adjust seasoning to your taste. 



-This dish has many ingredients and they all play along nicely. The meatballs are tasty in their own right but together with the pasilla sauce are a lovely and homely combination. Pasilla chillies are not spicy at all. They are all about flavour which is almost fruity. This goes fantastic with the pomegranate molasses that add just a touch of sweetness to this dish. 

-The tahini sauce brings another layer of flavours to the dish with its nuttiness and freshness from the Greek yoghurt and fresh lemon juice. Tajin is a very common Mexican seasoning that we use over many things. Made with salt, chilli powder and dehydrated lemon powder adds just the right touch to complete dishes like this one. 

-Serve with pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander! The pomegranate seeds add such a beautiful burst of sweetness that goes perfectly well with this dish. 



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