Mama’s Meatball Curry

(4 servings)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

This is a family classic and after I have posted this article will no longer be a secret. My mother will probably not be too happy that I have divulged the recipe but what the heck, people need to know what pure wholesome home food tastes like. The only slight modification I made to my mom’s original recipe is to reduce the number of chillis for the level of spice. Do not be intimidated by the number of ingredients. I’m sure that you will at the end of the day respond back to this article saying how good the dish turned out. If not – hey you did something wrong   


For meatball mix

  • ½ pound pork mince
  • ½ pound veal mince
  • ½ medium sized onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt to taste

For Curry

  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut (if you do not have coconut you can use cashews – 12 no.)
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 5 no. cloves
  • 4 no. cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 4 dried red chillies (see note in method)
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (tip – This is a great ingredient but do not be tempted to add more. It will make the curry bitter.)
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ medium sized onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 marble sized tamarind soaked in water
  • 3 tablespoon vinegar
  • 6 no. curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 1 potato peeled and cut in medium sized pieces
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste



Chop fine all the ingredients in the meatball mix. Add to the mince and mix well. Form medium sized meat balls and set aside.


Roast in a frying pan one at a time all the ingredients above (coconut, poppy seeds, cumin, mustard, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, red chillies, fenugreek seeds & black peppercorns). Roast until a nice aroma starts permeating the room and transfer to a mixer. Allow to cool.

Finely chop one onion and roast until brown. Add to the mixer. Add the ginger, garlic & tamarind to the mixture and pulse. Add some water if needed and pulse until a smooth paste is formed.

Heat oil (2 tablespoon) in a casserole. Finely chop the remaining ½ onion and fry till golden brown along with the curry leaves. Now add the ground paste (masala) and fry until the color turns darker. Tip – Keep stirring the paste so it doesn’t burn. You will know when the paste is ready when it does not stick to the casserole. Approx. 10 minutes.

Finely chop the tomatoes and cook along with the paste until soft. Once this is done add water and make a thick curry. Add vinegar, salt and sugar and allow the curry to come to a boil.

Add in the meatballs and turn the heat to low. This is an important phase of the cooking process. Do not stir the curry lest the meat balls break. You will notice that water comes out from the meatballs as they cook.

Slowly turn the meatballs so the outsides are cooked.

Add the potatoes in at this point.

Once potatoes are cooked, garnish with fresh green coriander and serve with hot ‘rotis’ or rice.

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