This is another Durban comfort-food staple. It is often referred to as “lamb kebabs in chutney”. This curry is delicious with roti or rice and a dollop of cucumber raita.
I often make extra meatballs and freeze them as they can also be used as an appetizer, just grilled from frozen and served with a Mint Chutney or Chilli Sauce on the side.
These meatballs can also be cooked with borlotti or cannellini beans for an Indian version of the Spanish dish of meatballs and beans in tomato sauce. Adding beans changes the texture of the gravy making it “more creamy” and much heartier than the basic tomato version.
1 kg lamb or beef low fat mince
½ onion finely diced
4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger peeled
1 teaspoon cummin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 fresh red chillies chopped finely (can be deseeded for less heat0
1/4 bunch of coriander finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons worth)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon of salt
To make meatballs:
Use a mortar and pestle to pound ginger and garlic into a paste.
In a large bowl, add mince and all other ingredients, including ginger and garlic. Add beaten egg last.
Mix well with your hands (I use disposable gloves), then form into medium size balls
Place on baking sheet lined with baking paper, put extras into a plastic container for freezing.
Heat oven to 170 degrees celsius and cook for 20 minutes or until just browned on the outside, cook for 5-10 minutes if serving as an appetiser. Taste test to see if cooked through so the meatballs don’t dry out too much.
If using from frozen, heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, place frozen meatballs on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cook as above. They might take slightly longer as they are cooking from frozen.
Tomato Curry Sauce
1 onion finely diced
2 large fresh ripe tomatoes diced
1 handful of curry leaves
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
2 sticks of cinnamon (preferabley cinnamon bark available in Indian grocers but quills are fine if not)
3 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh ginger peeled
3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cummin powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups chicken stock
Coriander to garnish
Heat vegetable oil in medium size heavy based pan which has a lid
Add cummin seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and heat gently until fragrant
Add onions and cook gently until transparent
Add ginger and garlic and heat through
Add all powdered spices: chilli powder, turmeric, cummin powder, salt and sugar and mix through for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring to avoid tomato mixture burning.
Add 1 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil, then lower heat and then simmer for 15 minutes, adding more chicken stock as required to make sure the tomatoes break down but don’t stick to the bottom. (*See below if you want to add borlotti or cannellini beans to your curry)
After 15 minutes, add the meatballs which have been cooked for about 20 minutes in the oven, add any juices from the baking sheet and more chicken stock or water to just cover meatballs and tomatoes.
Simmer for a further 10-15 minutes until tomatoes have broken up and a thick curry sauce is created.
Serve with hot rotis or white rice and cucumber raita.
Durban Indian Meatballs and Borlotti Beans Tomato curry.
For this version of the meatballs, add 1 can (400g) of borlotti beans or cannellini beans to the tomatoes after they have been cooking for about 5 minutes, add an additional ½ cup of chicken stock, and simmer mixture for another 15 minutes before adding the meatballs.