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Mini-Meatball Indian Curry

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN

Meatballs appear in every culture, but Grace Parisi never thought to add them to curry before watching Sanjay Thumma on the Vahchef YouTube channel. Cashew butter adds silky richness to the dairy-free sauce.


  1. 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
  2. 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  3. 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  4. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  5. 1 cup cooked rice
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  8. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  9. Kosher salt
  10. Freshly ground pepper


  1. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  4. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  5. 2 teaspoons medium-hot Madras curry powder
  6. 6 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  7. 1 1/2 cups tomato juice (12 ounces)
  8. Kosher salt
  9. Freshly ground pepper
  10. 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  11. Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving
  1. MAKE THE MEATBALLS Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat. In a medium bowl, knead the lamb with the jalapeño, ginger, garlic, rice, egg, cilantro, garam masala, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Roll the mixture into 18 balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes, until the lamb meatballs are nearly cooked through and the tops are lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, make the curry In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and curry powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the cashew butter and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato juice and 2 cups of water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the meatballs and any pan drippings to the sauce, cover partially and simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the meat is tender and the sauce is very thick, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve with rice and warm naan.
Make Ahead The curry and meatballs can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

Fruit-forward, medium-bodied red blend.

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