I’m thinking I need to research techniques on how to style meatballs and/or meatball curry, because I feel like I’m doing this dish a major disservice. Or maybe I should just blame the fact that I was in too much of a hurry to inhale a bowl or two to take the time to make it look nice and pretty?
Although I’ve only started cooking with lamb in the past couple years, it’s quickly become one of my favorite meats. And this lamb meatballs in a spicy Indian curry? It would definitely be a top contender for my favorite lamb recipe.
Tender lamb meatballs swim in a thick, spicy coconut milk- based sauce flavored with shallots, garlic and ginger and layers of Indian spice goodness? The laundry list? Mustard seeds, coriander, cumin and cayenne. A touch of apple cider vinegar adds a touch of sour and the chopped cilantro adds that pop of freshness.
It goes without saying that a curry like this would be great with a side of rice, but I’d also make sure to have a light, crunchy salad on the side to help balance out the richness.
Lamb Meatballs in a Spicy Indian Curry
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
* 1 pound ground lamb
* 1/4 cup minced shallots
* 2 Serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced
* 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 Tablespoons oil
* 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
* 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, in their juice
* 1 can coconut milk (approximately 13 ounces or 1-2/3 cups)
* 2 Serrano chile peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
* 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
* 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
In a medium bowl combine the lamb, shallots, ginger and salt. Use your hands to combine the mixture (do not overwork, as this will lead to tough meatballs). Roll into 16 to 20 generous sized meatballs and set aside.
In a large saucepan heat the oil over high heat. When it begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds and immediately cover with a lid or splatter screen. When the mustard seeds stop popping, carefully add the shallots and garlic (you may wish to quickly take the saucepan off the heat to do this) and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots begin to turn golden. Add the ginger, coriander, cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, for a minute or two.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook the mixture for an additional 3-4 minutes, helping to break down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the coconut milk, chile peppers, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Carefully add the meatballs and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, gently shaking the pan occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Add the cilantro and apple cider vinegar and give the saucepan another gentle shake to help distribute the cilantro and vinegar (you can stir if you'd like, but it may break apart a meatball or two).
Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
Adapted from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices by Ruta Kahate