Saturday, 29 April 2017

Vegetarian Sumac Meatballs in Broccoli Turmeric Sauce

I have already mentioned in a previous post that I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment.  This is my third dish featuring vegan meatballs in one month. 
Before I went vegetarian, there were only a few meat dishes I would eat: chicken wings to hush my mother from nagging me for not eating meat when I was growing up under her eyes, minced meat samosas and meatballs.  When I left home for University, I did not miss meat dishes and accidentally found myself becoming a vegetarian, these days my diet is probably 95% vegan, so I guess I am veganish - but not vegan at all as I still eat cheese and consume a little milk and eggs on occasion, mostly in recipes. 

For some reason these crisp sienna coloured 'meatballs' have been calling my name and I am so pleased in the knowledge that I can make my own, but there are also some good brands out their, that all you have to do is defrost them and pan fry in a little oil.  The veggie meatballs that I have used here purely out of convenience come from a packet mix and these are enhanced with parsley and the tang of sumac, cooked and then tossed in a Broccoli Turmeric Sauce. 
I have to admit, this recipe was also inspired from  Nigel Slater's recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Sumac and Broccolii as featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians.   I actually preferred this meatball dish compared to the Mushroom one, whereas D preferred the Mushroom Sauce one.  The flavours in this Broccoli Turmeric one are a lot more lighter and look at the awesome colours. 
On first appearance, D said he thought it was Thai flavoured and assumed it was made with coconut milk, but its actually made with creme fraiche.  I guess if you want it to be vegan you could use coconut cream.
Other sumac recipes on the blog
Sumac Popcorn
Sumac Spring Rolls
Sumac Cabbage

Vegetarian Sumac Meatballs in Broccoli Turmeric Sauce
Serves 4
For the Vegan Meatballs
Follow this recipe if you want to make them from scratch 
Use a well known vegan or vegetarian brand that takes your fancy 
175g of vegetarian Sausage mix

20g fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons sumac
In a large bowl, stir in 175g packet of Sausage mix, herb and spice.
Then carefully pour in 300ml cold water, stir well to combine and then let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken.  
Set aside, while you get on with making the  base  
Assemble the Meatballs
The sausage mix should be thick now, with you hands scoop out around a large tablespoon and roll into small round balls, keep doing this until you have used up all the mock sausage meat. 
I managed to make around 16 with my hands, but you may make more or less, just bare in mind that this will be divided between 4 people. 
When done, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry them, ensuring all sides are golden and done.  
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

For the Broccoli Turmeric Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
360g broccoli, sliced length ways and florets
200g creme fraiche or coconut cream or vegan alternative
Optional: extra sumac for sprinkling
In a wide pan, heat the oil and then stir in the onions, cook until transcluscent and soft.
Stir in the spices, salt and cook for a couple of minutes
Add the broccoli to the pan along with 100ml water.
Cover and cook on medium heat for the broccoli to begin to soften.
When you can pierce a fork through the broccoli without effort, stir in the creme fraiche.
Then carefully stir in the vegetarian sumac meatballs to warm through.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sumac if desired for extra tang!
This recipe is inspired and adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Sumac and Broccoli as featured in The Guardian.


  1. You are making me crave meatballs - I really love the one in The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest but you are right that it is nice to have something convenient sometimes - I was similar to you in not liking meat much as a kid but I loved my mum's rissoles - not sure if we had meatballs but these were like them. But never as prettily served as yours - that broccoli looks great with it

    1. Can only be a a good thing Johanna. I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Wales its dim, dull and drizzly (I am a little glad of it for the garden plants), so its food like this I am yearning for. I will have to dig out my copy of Enchanted Broccoli Forest to see the recipe you refer to as I have not made those.

  2. Oatly do a vegan creme freche which may work too.:-)

    1. Its so good to hear from you Ray. I hope your well. Yes they do I did use it in a Mushroom Strogonoff, thanks for reminding me.
      I read your blog comment that noone reads your blog any more, i found the same to be the case when i returned after starting the veggie cafe, but some returned. I don't have the same presence as I did when I lived in Scotland, but part of that is the blogging world has changed to one of PR bloggers, but I would not let that discourage you. If your ready to return for yourself, then do so - you will find a reader in me.

    2. Thank you for your kind words. must look out something for your Eat Your Greens challenge 🙂 I wonder if the wild garlic near by is still available.....

  3. Oooh this meatball recipe also sounds good! I like that you are being so versatile with a main ingredient =)
    "When I left home for University, I did not miss meat dishes and accidentally found myself becoming a vegetarian" This happened to me too. I have never liked the taste of meat and it always seemed to upset my stomach. I think I was meant to be veg ;)

    1. Hi Kimmy, so pleased you like this - yes veggie meatballs, like any meatball I guess are versatile. I enjoyed these at the time. So interesting to find that your never enjoyed meat growing up either, but you have progressed further than me in becoming vegan, which I truly admire - I don't know if I will become vegan...but I am veganish indeed.


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