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I stumbled upon this recipe by Jennifer Danter in the February EAT MAGAZINE and thought “we like meatballs a lot and we like Indian food a whole lot”…sounds good to me. It calls for serving the meatballs with polenta…in my mind, not a great combination. I served it with basmati rice but next time, I think it will be great with grilled naan bread. She also suggests broiling the meatballs. I did…boy was my oven a mess! So…next time 425F oven for me or even browning on top of the stove but making sure I use my spatter guard!
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
For the Masala (Sauce):
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
28 oz. tin plum tomatoes
1 Tbsp. garam masala (see below for link to recipe)
1 tsp. turmeric
½ – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup water
For the Meatballs:
2 green onions, chopped into ½” pieces
2 egg yolks
1 slice white bread, crusts trimmed, torn into small pieces
¼ cup creamo or light cream
2 lbs. ground lamb
1 tsp. each fennel seeds & ground cumin
½ tsp. each ground cinnamon & sea salt
Garnish: fresh mint & Feta cheese (optional)
Make the Masala:
In a food processor, whirl the garlic cloves, chopped onion & grated fresh ginger until well chopped & almost pureed. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat; add cumin seeds. Heat until they start to sizzle, then add the onion mixture. Stir often until mixture softens & is translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low to prevent browning, if needed. This may take 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree canned plum tomatoes (I just chopped them up and squished them with my hands) with the garam masala, turmeric & salt (add the amount of cayenne you are using too). Pour into the pan with the onions; stir in water. Simmer 20 minutes to blend flavours. If making ahead, cover & refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Make the Meatballs:
Makes between 18 & 20 Meatballs
In a food processor whirl the chopped green onions, 2 egg yolks, bread & the creamo until well pureed. Turn into a large bowl & add the ground lamb, fennel seeds, ground cumin, cinnamon & salt. Gently mix until blended, shape into balls, aiming for a chubby golf ball size.
Space the meatballs out on a baking sheet brushed with oil or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven to 375F. Using a slotted spoon, add the meatballs to the sauce in the Dutch oven; cover & bake until sauce is bubbly & meatballs are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes or so.
Garnish with the mint & feta if you wish.
For the recipe for garam masala, click here.