Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs with NYC Street Meat Sauce

Food trucks are one of the best crazes in my book. You know anything that comes through that window is going to be mind blowing. The author of Secret Sauces, Vanessa Seder found her inspiration for this recipe from a food truck in NYC on her lunch break. This "white sauce" recipe is definitely one to keep in your back pocket. It is a great base for dips, or dipping sauce by adding fresh herbs or straight up on smoky barbecued meats. Whatever your preference, you will not be let down.

Vanessa paired the sauce recipe with her spiced lamb meatballs. We were taken aback with how balanced the spice mixture was for these. Incredibly flavorful. The rich seared meatball paired with the bright, acidic sauce is just perfect.

Yields about 1 Cup


  • 2/3 Cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons water


  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined.
  2. Use immediately or store up to 1 week in a squeeze bottle


Serves 4 or 16 meatballs


  • 1/4 Cup bread crumbs from stale bread
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic,  finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil for searing
  • cooked rice - to serve
  • chopped romaine lettuce and naan - to serve
  • lemon wedges, fresh mint or dill for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 200 F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, soak bread crumbs in milk about 3 mins or until milk is absorbed.
  3. Add ground lamb, egg, all remaining herbs and spices.
  4. Mix well with hands. Form mixture into 16 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
  5. Over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to skillet.
  6. Add half of the meatballs to skillet. Brown on all sides, turning gently until meatballs are cooked. This makes about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove meatballs and put on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in warm oven. 
  8. Repeat steps 5 & 6.
  9. To serve, place meatballs on bed of rice with naan, pile romaine on top. Drizzle with white sauce. Garnish with herbs and lemon wedges.

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