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Warm Buddha Bowl

by Shirin Kouros & Yasmine Larizadeh from The Good Life Eatery

This is the ultimate weeknight comfort food. Generous with nutty brown rice, herby meatballs and rich tomato sauce it's perfect for busy days.

From the book

Shirin Kouros & Yasmine Larizadeh

Introduction

On the precipice of being Iranian, we are rice and meat FIEENNNDZZZ. Rice, meat and some vegetables have been a staple go-to option for pretty much every meal (excluding breakfast) our entire lives. We truly believe a meal is incomplete without such a balance and I myself never feel full if one of the components are not involved – LITERALLY this is a warm, cosy, little bowl of happiness!

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Ingredients

For the meatballs:
500g minced beef fillet
25g mint leaves, finely chopped
40g parsley, leaves and stems finely chopped
1/2 red onion (about 50g), peeled and finely chopped
1 egg
1 lemon, zest finely grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
For the tomato sauce:
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g plum tomatoes, finely chopped
300g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
a pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
To serve:
4-6 tbsp Greek Yoghurt
Pea Slaw (see page 161 for recipe)
For the brown rice:
300g brown rice
a generous pinch of salt

Method

1. For the meatballs, put all the ingredients, except the oil, into a large bowl and mix together well until combined. Using clean, damp hands, roll the mixture into 30g balls, about the size of a golf ball.

2. To make the Tomato Sauce, put the garlic into a saucepan, add the olive oil and place over a low heat. Cook the garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until it is lightly golden, not burnt. Then add all the tomatoes, the chilli, the tomato puree, salt and balsamic vinegar. Increase the heat and cook for 20 minutes to allow the tomatoes to soften and melt down. Once the tomatoes have softened, keep the sauce warm over a low-medium heat.

3. Heat a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil over a medium heat.When hot, add the meatballs and cook for 10–12 minutes until they are lightly browned all over. Put the cooked meatballs into the tomato sauce and leave to simmer gently for 20–30 minutes while you prepare the rice.

4. To cook the rice, put the brown rice into a large saucepan, add enough water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. This is a super-simple brown rice and doesn’t need much flavour as everything else has lots of flavour.

5. To serve, put a large spoonful of brown rice into a bowl.Top with 4–6 meatballs per person, some tomato sauce and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Serve each with a small portion of the Pea Slaw. Garnish with the remaining parsley.

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