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Sweet and Sour Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce

Makes 38-40 meatballs
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Central Asian
Keyword: sweet and sour meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 402kcal


For the meatballs

  • 1 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 lbs extra lean ground pork
  • 1 onion processed in a food processor with 2 tbsp of water or grated
  • 1 egg large
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sumac optional
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying

For the Pomegranate sauce

  • 1/2cup/125ml Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 cups/500 ml beef or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • pomegranate seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint chopped


  • Process the onion with 2 tbsp of water in a food processor to a paste or grate it on a grater.
  • In a large bowl combine both meats, onion, egg, spices and chopped fresh cilantro, oats, salt and pepper.
  • Form meatballs approximately the size of golf balls. Use a small ice cream scoop to get even sized meatballs.
  • Arrange them on a cutting board and put them in the freezer for 10-15 min to firm up.
  • Brown meatballs in batches over medium high heat on all sides in hot oil, they don't need to be cooked all the way through. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Discard the oil meatballs were browned in and wipe the pan with a paper towel.
  • To the same pan add pomegranate molasses, beef or chicken stock, brown sugar and spices.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer until it starts to get thicker, add a mixture of corn starch and water and stir with a whisk to make sure there are not lumps.
  • Add half of the pomegranate seeds to the sauce together with meatballs.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes shaking the pan once in a while to prevent meatballs sticking until the sauce is thick and syrupy. If your sauce is still thin after the time stated continue simmering until it has the consistency of glaze.
  • Serve sprinkles with the remaining pomegranate seeds and chopped fresh mint leaves.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 3mg