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Indian Style Meatballs

One of my go-to dishes to freeze are meatballs of any kind. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to defrost the balls. If you try to stir them up while it’s still frozen, you can accidentally break up the meatballs and end up with meat sauce. Of course, people have suffered worse fates.




Indian Style Meatballs

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Serves: 8
Prep Time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 1.5 hours


  • Meatball ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground meat (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, turkey, veal or a combination)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • Sauce ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 7-ounce container Greek yogurt 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Mango chutney for serving
  • Red onion relish for serving (recipe follows)
  • Cucumber Raita (recipe follows)



For the meatballs


Preheat oven to 350


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Do not overmix it. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the balls with vegetable oil. Bake until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven.


For the Sauce


Saute the onions in the butter until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the spices and stir until fragrant, just a minute or two. Add the crushed tomatoes and the whole tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands. Add the yogurt and stir until it’s all combined. Add the salt and the sugar. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.  


Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for about 30 minutes until all the flavors are melded.


Serve with warm naan bread, mango chutney,  red onion relish and cucumber raita.


Red Onion Relish —Combine the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 chopped red onion in a bowl and mix. Add cayenne pepper to taste and mix through. You can add red coloring for fun.


Cucumber Raita —Combine 2 cups of  Greek Yogurt with 1 clove of minced garlic. Grate a seedless cucumber onto a kitchen towel. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt let it sit for 10 minutes and squeeze out excess water. Add cayenne pepper to taste.


Serve these baby with some warmed up naan, mango chutney, cucumber raita and basmati rice.