Place the lamb in a mixing bowl, and add the garlic, chile, cilantro, breadcrumbs, allspice, half the ginger, half of the onion, egg, 3/4 tsp salt, and some pepper. Mix well with your hands, and set in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the quince.
Peel the quince and halve them. Put the halves in a bowl of cold water, with the juice of the half lemon, so that they do not turn brown. Use a melon baller or a small sturdy spoon to hollow out the quince halves so that you are left with a 2/3-inch thick shell. Reserve the scooped out flesh.
Fill the hollowed quince halves with the lamb mix, using your hands to push it down.
Place the reserved quince flesh in a blender or food processor and blitz to chop well.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or shallow Dutch oven for which you have a lid. Transfer the blended quince to the pan, along with the remaining ginger, onion, and the seeds from cardamom pods. Sauté for 10-12 minutes, until the onion has softened.
Add the molasses, 1 TBS lemon juice, sugar, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper and mix well.
Add the quince halves to the sauce, facing upwards, and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cover the pan and cook for about 30 minutes. In the end, the quince should be completely soft, the meat well cooked, and the sauce thick. Lift the meatballs out of the quince halves to check that the meat is cooked through. Lift the lid and simmer for a minute or two to reduce the sauce, if needed.
The original recipe stops cooking here, but we found that just 6-8 minutes in the broiler gave the meatballs a lovely browned quality, making them so much prettier, while keeping their tender, mouth-melting savory sweetness.
To serve, scatter chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds over the top.
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