1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 - 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cm (1/2 in) cube shrimp paste
15 ml (1 tbsp) coriander seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
450 g (1 lb) lean minced beef
10 ml (2 tsp) dark soy sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) dark brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
a little beaten egg
oil for shallow-frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish
1. Put the onions, chillies, garlic and shrimp paste in a food processor. Process but do not over-chop or the onion will become too wet and spoil the consistency of the meatballs.
2. Dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a preheated pan for about 1 minute, to release the aroma. Do not brown. Grind with a pestle and mortar.
3. Put the meat in a large bowl. Stir in the onion mixture. Add the ground coriander and cumin, soy sauce, seasoning, sugar and lemon juice. Bind with a little beaten egg and shape into small, even-size balls.
4. Chill the meatballs briefly to firm up, if necessary. Fry in shallow oil, turning often, until cooked through and browned. This will take 4 - 5 minutes, depending on their size.
5. Remove from the pan, drain well on kitchen paper and serve, garnished with coriander sprigs.
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