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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

INDIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS, It's All About the Sauce - Not Too Spicy but Just Right


Essence of India (Indian) Chicken Meatballs

Besides the essence of India flavors in this red meatball sauce, an added benefit is that it’s a pretty healthy dish. The meatballs are baked instead of fried, the meat is lean and there are no unhealthy fats – such as no butter. It makes plenty of sauce; so I recommend serving it with a rice or quinoa to take advantage of soaking up some sauce. During the cooking process, due to the amalgamation of the rich spices, wonderful aromas waft throughout your home.

Serves: 3 to 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes (when baking meatballs in the oven and making stove top sauce at the same time)

Suggested Tools:

· Large skillet

· Small bowl

· Chopping board

. Chopping knife

. Baking sheet

· Parchment paper

· Small bowl

· Tiny bowl

· Measuring cups

· Measuring spoons

· Large stir spoon

· Small stir spoon


· 1 pound ground chicken (turkey works also)

Note: If you cannot find the type of ground chicken you desire, typically you can select a boneless chicken package of your choice and ask the store butcher to grind the meat for you. For example, for this blog recipe, I purchased a package of organic anti-biotic chicken breast and the butcher ground the meat for me.

· ½ cup ground bread crumbs or for gluten-free, GF breadcrumbs

· 1 egg

· 2 tablespoon olive oil

· 1 yellow onion, chopped well

· 2 cups coconut milk

· 5.3 ounces or 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

· 1 - 6 ounce tomato paste

· 1 tablespoon lemon juice

· 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic

· 1 teaspoon powder ginger, or 1 inch fresh grated ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger paste (This is usually found in a small jar and was my choice for this blog).

· 2-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro or basil, chopped finely (I used basil for this blog because that is what I had on hand).

Spices –

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon curry powder (I prefer sweet curry, but any will do)

· 1 teaspoon chili powder

· ½ teaspoon turmeric

· ¼ teaspoon cayenne

· ¼ teaspoon pepper

· Couple dashes of sea salt


Cooking Preparation –

For time management and ease of cooking, I recommend first chopping the onions and garlic and setting them aside. Next add all of the dry spices together in a tiny bowl and mix well together; then set aside for later use.

Note: As a general rule, when there are several spices like this in a recipe, I like to mix the spices together in a small bowl – instead of just sprinkling them into a mixture - because I believe they are more evenly distributed in the dish than if I were to add them one at a time to the recipe.

1. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, egg and salt and pepper to taste. (I use my washed hands because I think you get a more thorough mix of ingredients).

3. Put a little olive oil in your hands and rub together (this helps to keep the chicken from sticking as much on your fingers).

4. Put a little of the chicken mixture in the palm of your hand and roll into a small ball and place the meatball on the parchment paper. Try to make the balls somewhat similar in size so that they cook evenly. You will make about 15-20 balls depending on the size of the balls. (When meatballs are done, set aside until they are ready to be added to the sauce).

5. Place the meatball tray in a pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked. There is no need to turn the meatballs during the cooking process. The meatballs should be lightly brown on top and on the bottom as well.

6. Meanwhile, on the stove top add to a large skillet on medium heat two tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onions and cook about five minutes until they are opaque in color.

7. Place heat on medium-low and add the chopped garlic, ginger, salt and pepper, and mix well - cook another 2-3 minutes.

8. Sprinkle the tiny bowl of mixed spices to the skillet mixture and stir well and cook for about a minute.

9. Add the tomato paste and milk and stir gently until well mixed. Cook for about five minutes until thickened. [If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add either more coconut milk or water].

10. Add and stir in the yogurt a little at a time into the center of the skillet and stir from center to the outer of the pan until well mixed.

11. Add the meatballs to the sauce and combine well. Cook about 5 more minutes.

12. Add the fresh herb (such as cilantro or basil) and gently fold into sauce and meatballs.

Recommendation: Serve over rice of choice

The Crooked Ladle

Savor the taste...


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