Frikkadels for any occasion

Call them frikkadels, meat balls, rissoles, kefthedes in Greek or bitterballen in Dutch.

But whatever way you have it, meatballs are a firm favourite and a good standby when you want something quick and you can add in the word healthy if you use lean beef or ostrich mince. Which is what I did when I made these over the weekend.

There are two versions here: one where spice is the key word and one where they are a little more mellow and on the Mediterranean side.

Herby spicy ostrich meatballs (for 2 people)


500 g ostrich mince

1 egg

1 slice bread soaked in water and squeezed dry of any liquid

1 onion, chopped finely

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tight handful fresh basil and parsley or coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 heaped tsp Thai red curry paste

1 tbs yoghurt

1 tsp chilli paste

(If you don’t like things hot you can scale down on the chilli and red curry paste)


Put the mince in a medium-sized bowl and top with the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly with your hands and then pummel and mix again until all the ingredients are thoroughly amalgamated.

Oil a flat baking tin or, if you are frying them, flour a large dish.

Form the meat into golf-ball size; then place into the dish and flatten until each patty is about 2 cm thick and about 6 cm in diameter.

Put your oven on the grill and when it is smokin’ hot, grind a little salt on each patty, put on a grid right underneath the grill and leave until goldenbrown. Repeat.

Serve in a wrap or a na’an with tzadziki or yoghurt or, as we did with hummus and salad.

If you are frying the patties, roll each one in flour, flatten with the palm of your hand and fry in canola oil or seed oil.

In the version for Greek meatballs or kefthedes, take out the coriander and replace with fresh oreganum or thyme.

Likewise, take out the red curry paste and chilli paste and instead of using yoghurt, add in one cup of finely grated kefalotiri or pecorino cheese and add in a glug of olive oil.

Serve, as pictured with a Greek salad, wraps or pitas and hummus or tzadziki: that wonderfully refreshing Greek dip made with yoghurt, lots of crushed garlic and finely chopped cucumbers. Serve with a robust red wine.

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