INDIAN MEATBALLS IN SPICY FENNEL SEEDS SAUCE

Indian-meatballs-sauce

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An amazingly easy to make Indian Meatballs dipped in fragrant fennel seeds flavoured sauce. Ready in 30 minutes with limited ingredients this meatballs curry goes great with plain boiled rice or bread!

There is something delicious and satisfying to eat firm and soft spicy meatballs in a creamy sauce.

The Indian word for meatballs or anything that resembles a ball shape and go into a curry is called ‘ Kofta’ derived from the Persian word.

This recipe is an Indian kofta curry recipe made with minced meat inspired by Kashmiri flavours.

What Type Of Meat to Use for Making Spicy Meatballs

For making this spicy Indian meatballs recipe you can use any type of mince meat.

I have used a mix of pork and beef, but you can make chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs or even use a vegetarian meatball option.

Easy Meals With Mince Meat

I am a fuss-free cook, which means convenience and taste take precedence over laborious and time consuming.

One of my must-have convenient and quick proteins other than fish and egg is mincemeat.

Besides mince meat is also good on your pocket and a brilliant non-veg treat when on a budget.

I love how quickly you can make a variety of meals with mince meat in minutes.

You have the option of making a homemade burger, meat loaf, meatballs, kebabs, curry, chilli, fillings for tacos, enchiladas and many more.

Meatballs cook easily and quickly.

Adding other ingredients such as herbs and spices to minced meat gives it added flavour and texture.

If you have not been using mincemeat then I strongly advise you to start keeping some in your freezer for stirring up tasty family-friendly meals to enjoy!

Are Meatballs Healthy? How to Buy Good Quality Mince Meat!

This is a question I asked myself once I discovered the convenience of cooking with mincemeat.

Below are tips to ensure you are buying good quality mince meat.

  1. If possible make your own meatballs at home with lean mince meat. Supermarkets these days have a leaner variety of mincemeat which is great.
  2. Commercial meatballs can contain a high amount of fat and sodium so always read the label to check the fat content.
  3. Another option is to buy lean boneless meat and grind meat at home either in a food processor or chopping it fine using a butchers knife. ( It requires elbow grease to I will skip this)
  4. Pork mince, has more fat content so if possible substitute it for other red meat option. Occasional pork mince of course does not hurt!

If you stick to modest portions and lean meat, you can enjoy the all the benefits.

Easy Indian Meatball Curry Recipe in Fennel seeds Flavoured Sauce

How Long to Cook Meatballs in Sauce

There are many different recipes of meatball cooked in sauce.

The most popular of course is meatballs in tomato sauce.

However you can also make different sauce base like creamy white sauce, yogurt based sauce, pesto sauce and many more.

My common sense tell me that if there is a sauce that you can add chunky pieces of meat in then I see no reason why the meat pieces cant be replaced by meatballs!

Cooking meatballs in sauce allows the mince to absorb all the flavours from the sauce making it tender, succulent and fast to cook.

Ingredients used to Make Spicy Indian Meatballs

The ingredients list may look a bit extensive but it uses simple everyday ingredients which you may already have.

The only ingredient you may find difficult to buy are the fennel seeds. The easy solution is to substitute it with fennel bulb.

The main ingredients used are:

  1. mince meat
  2. onions
  3. ginger
  4. garlic
  5. tomato puree
  6. cream

Spices needed to make spicy meatballs curry 

  1. cumin powder
  2. green cardamom
  3. brown cardamom
  4. fennel seeds
  5. cumin seeds
  6. bay leaves
  7. garam masala powder

What to substitute for fennel seeds ?

If you are unable to find fennel seeds you can substitute it with fresh fennel bulb.

All you need to do is finely chop the bulb just like onions and add it after you fry the ginger, garlic and onions, before you add tomato puree.

This will allow the fresh fennel taste to become adsorbed into the sauce.

More fennel seeds substitutes and their benefits can be found here.

Cooking Tips for Making Indian Meatballs In Spicy Fennel Sauce

  1. If you wish you can add a little of cumin powder, garam masala powder  and chopped green chillies to your meatballs to make it spicier.
  2. Tomato  ketchup adds a hint of sweetness to the sauce, you can omit it if you like.
  3. Breadcrumbs help to bind the mince together and prevent it from crumbling. You can add edd instead.
  4. For vegetarian option you can use minced soya or mince quorn
  5. Black cardamom, is a special type of Indian spice, that adds a woody aromatic fragrance to the dish.  You do not need to  have them if you don’t find them.
  6. To safe cooking time, mince or grind together onions, ginger and garlic in a blender. More time saving cooking tips here.
  7. Make a child friendly Version – Omit chilli powder completely or remove a portion of the masala base (before adding water) to another container and make it separately for kids. Add chilli powder in the remaining (hot version) masala base and continue to follow recipe by adding water for both portions.
  8. For healthier version – skip using cream, you can use 2 tbsp of skimmed milk instead.

Step By Step Method To Make  Curried Meatballs in Fennel Sauce

STEP 1 – Make curried meatballs

Add half of the fresh coriander leaves, cumin powder, salt and breadcrumbs to the mince meat and mix it well together. Roll them into balls and set aside for frying

Easy recipes with Mince meat dishes

STEP 2 – Frying the Meatballs 

Heat oil in a pan and add lemon shaped portions of meatballs to warm oil. Cook till it changes in colour turning it from time to time. Set aside to use later in the sauce

Fry indian matballs

STEP 3 – Make fennel and cumin seed powder 

In a mortal pestle grind fennel seeds and cumin seeds to a coarse powder and set aside. If you wish you can lightly dry roast the spice before hand in a pan.

Roasted fennel seeds and cumin seeds

STEP 4 – Make the spicy fennel sauce 

  1. Heat oil in a pan and once warm add brown cardamom, green cardamom and bay leaves fry for 20 seconds.

tempering spices in oil

2.Add the onion ginger garlic paste to the pan. Saute until it becomes caramel in colour and the raw smell of the aromates go away and oil starts to separate out of the onion mixture.

onions-masala-base

3. Now add the tomatoes to the onion and continue to saute till much of the moisture evaporates. Add tomato sauce, chilli powder and garam masala powder to the pan and saute for a minute further.

spicy masala base for Indian meatballs curry recipe

4. Once you see the moisture from the tomatoes have evaporated and oil starts to separate out, add water and bring to boil. Add the pre fried meatballs to the sauce, cumin and fennel powder and cover and simmer on low for 10 – 15 mins. Add cream at the end and remove from heat.

add-meatballs-to-sauce

5. Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and serve Indian meatballs curry in fennel sauce with plain boiled rice or Indian flat bread.

Indian-meatballs-sauce

Recipe for Indian Meatballs in Fennel Flavoured Sauce

Where to Buy Spices Online

Avail the convenience to get a range of spices, special ingredients and regular grocery delivered straight to your door without any hassle.

UK and Rest of Europe Residents  –  British Corner Shop, the official partners of Waitrose UK with economic worldwide delivery

US Residents –  Thrive Market ( Get 20% off with your first 3 orders )

 


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Ingredients

Mince Meat (any kind or mixed)- 250 gms
Onions - 1, chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch, minced
Garlic - 4 pods, minced
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
Tomato sauce - 2 tbsp
Cream - 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves - a large handful
Breadcrumbs - 3 tbsp
Oil - 1/4 cup (most for pan frying the meat balls and rest for making sauce)
Salt to taste
SPICES USED
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom- 2
Bayleaves - 1
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
*Ingredients Needed

Directions

1
Add half of the fresh coriander leaves, 1 tsp cumin powder, salt and breadcrumbs to the mince meat and mix well together.
2
Heat oil in a pan and add lemon shaped portions of meatballs to warm oil.
3
Cook till it changes in colour turning them from time to time.
4
Set aside to use later in the sauce
5
In a mortal pestle grind fennel seeds and cumin seeds to a coarse powder and set aside.
6
Heat oil in a pan and once warm add brown cardamom, green cardamom and bay leaves.
7
Once it changes in colour after about 20 seconds, add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.
8
Add minced ginger garlic to the pan and saute until it becomes caramel in colour and the raw smell of the aromates dissappear and oil starts to separate out of the onion mixture.
9
Now add the 1/2 tomato puree to the onion and continue to cook until the moisture evaporates.
10
Add tomato sauce, chilli powder and garam masala powder to the pan and saute for a minute further.
11
Once you see the moisture from the tomatoes have evaporated and oil starts to separate out, add warm water and salt to taste to the onion tomato mixture.
12
Once the water comes to a boil, add the fried meatballs and ground fennel and cumin powder, cover and cook for 8 -10 minutes on low heat.
13
Add cream just before taking it off heat.
14
Garnish with a good helping of fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or any Indian bread.