Sour yoghurt soup with fried chickpeas & minced lamb

serves 4-6 mains
difficulty easy
prep time 10mins (approx.)
total time 1hrs 15mins (approx.)
main ingredient(s) yoghurt, Lamb, chickpeas, rice noodles

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500 grams plain yoghurt
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
145 grams rice vermicelli noodles
150 grams tinned chickpeas
50 ml olive oil, plus a little extra for frying chickpeas and mince
250 grams lamb mince
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 large fennel, finely diced
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 bullet chilli, split
1 pinch saffron
600 ml chicken stock
1/2 lemon
1/2 bunch coriander, sprigs picked


Combine yoghurt and cornflour in a bowl and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

Roughly break the rice noodles. Cover them in boiling water and stand for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Place the chickpeas in a kitchen strainer and pour over two cups of boiling water to rinse off the tin juices.

Fry the chickpeas in a little oil for about 6 minutes, stirring over medium heat until crisp and almost candied.

Mix together the mince, cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt. Shape into little balls the size of a 10-cent piece. Fry them in a little oil until golden brown. Set aside in a warm place.

To make the soup base, add the oil, onion, garlic and fennel in a medium heavy-based pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until slightly caramelised. Add the cinnamon, bay leaf, thyme, chilli, a little salt and the saffron. Stir then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the noodles and yoghurt and stir over medium heat in one direction. Heat to just under boiling point then add the fried chickpeas and meatballs and let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, coriander leaves and a little salt. Serve.

Leftovers will keep for a couple of days; reheat gently to serve.

Comments & Reviews4

Dani V's picture
Dani V
Jun 9, 2012

Delicious, and easy to adapt for my Thermomix.

MarkV70's picture
Jul 10, 2012

Could you substitute chicken mince for the lamb, if so..anyone recommend any seasoning/spice adjustments?

Karen Martini's picture
Karen Martini
Jul 19, 2012

Hi Mark,

The flavour profile of this recipe is quite specific and almost relies on the lamb to tie it all together. In saying this, it wouldn't necessarily be a problem if you did want to use chicken mince as a substitute, but I would keep the other ingredients consistent with the recipe.

Cook, eat and enjoy…


TessStella's picture
Dec 8, 2014

Made this for the family tonight - was absolutely stunning. Will definitely make again.

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