'Festive soup' from Gaziantep brings together lamb, chickpeas and ground-rice meatballs in lamb broth, thickened with yoghurt, flour and egg - all served with mint oil.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (16 votes)

The name comes from the meatballs; and means ‘rolled’, and it is said that it takes one person four hours to roll 1 kg of meatballs because the size of the meatballs needs to be smaller than the chickpeas in the soup.

You can use other cuts of lamb like leg shoulder, but they need more cooking time to become tender, around 2 hours.


  • 1½ litres lamb stock or chicken stock
  • 400 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 150 g lamb backstrap, cut into small dice
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  • 150 g lean minced lamb
  • 100 g ground rice (see Note)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g fine semolina
  • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Mint oil

  • 125 g butter
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the mixture until it is a soft, smooth paste. Using oiled hands, roll tiny pieces of mixture into meatballs about the size of a chickpea. Place on a baking paper-lined tray. This makes more meatballs than you will need for this recipe, but they will keep well in the freezer to make it much easier for the next time you make this soup.  
  2. Place the lamb stock in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Place the yoghurt, egg, flour and salt and whisk until smooth.
  4. When your stock starts boiling add diced lamb, chickpeas and 150 g of the meatballs. When the meatballs float to the surface, the broth is ready to add yoghurt mixture in. Whisking continuously, add a ladleful of hot broth to the yoghurt and whisk until well combined. Add the yoghurt mixture back to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously in one direction for about 5 minutes or until everything has come together nicely.  Remove from the heat.
  5. For the mint oil, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and dried mint and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Pour the mint oil over the soup and serve.



Make sure you use ground rice for this recipe and not rice flour. I use McKenzie’s brand. If you can’t find ground rice, you can also use soaked, dried and blitzed rice, or you can grind the rice and meat together if you have a mincer.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.