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Chicken Meatball Curry

There’s a lot to love about this Indian style curry. Made with tender chicken meatballs, warming earthy spices and rich coconut cream, it’s a crowd-pleasing winner of a dinner.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Western
Keyword: chicken meatball curry, steam oven curry
Servings: 4
Calories: 468kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken mince
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs fresh, lightly packed
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves only, finely chopped (use the top half of the bunch for this and the bottom half for the sauce)
  • 1 red chilli a long chili, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder mild, medium or hot, your preference
  • 1 tbs oil If using stovetop method, add 1 tbs extra. I use rice bran oil but sunflower or light olive would also be fine
  • 1 onion large, finely chopped
  • 1 knob ginger 2.5cm/1in piece, peeled and minced
  • ½ bunch coriander root and stem only, minced (use the bottom half of the bunch)
  • 2 tbs curry powder additional to the above 2tsp; mild, medium or hot, your preference
  • 14 oz tomato puree 1 can, or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • Extra coriander for serving
  • steamed rice optional, for serving
  • naan breads optional, for serving
  • poppadums optional, for serving
  • chutney optional, for serving

Instructions

Combi Steam Oven Method

  • Set oven to 400°F/200°C, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam, use 30% (if not, don’t worry! Just set to combination or convection steam and the oven will figure out the steam level for you).
  • Make the meatballs. Mix the mince, breadcrumbs, coriander, chilli, garlic and 2 teaspoons curry powder in a large bowl (reserve the other 2 tablespoons curry powder for the sauce). Form into tablespoon-sized meatballs - I get around 30 meatballs using my favorite handy scoop - and place into a shallow baking pan.
  • Cook the meatballs until they’re browned, around 12-15 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, start the sauce. Put the oil, onion, ginger and coriander into an ovenproof baking dish or casserole pan. Put in the oven (same settings as the meatballs) until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the remaining curry powder to the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes to toast the spices, then stir in the tomato puree, water and coconut cream. Return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and give everything a gentle stir. Return to the oven until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are fully cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve with extra coriander and steamed rice or naan breads.
  • The meatballs will keep, covered in the fridge, for 3-4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. They can be reheated in your steam oven using the steam only setting.

Stovetop Method

  • Make the meatballs. Mix the mince, breadcrumbs, coriander, chilli, garlic and 2 teaspoons curry powder in a large bowl (reserve the other 2 tablespoons curry powder for the sauce). Form into tablespoon-sized meatballs - I get around 30 meatballs using my favorite handy scoop - and place on a plate.
  • Heat a frypan over medium-high heat and add 1 tbs oil. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning until they’re browned all over, then remove and set aside.
  • Once all the meatballs are browned, put the remaining 1 tbs oil, onion, ginger and coriander into the same pan. Saute until the onions are softened.
  • Add the remaining curry powder to the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes to toast the spices, then stir in the tomato puree, water and coconut cream. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and give everything a gentle stir. Lower the heat to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are fully cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve with extra coriander and steamed rice or naan breads.
  • The meatballs will keep, covered in the fridge, for 3-4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. They can be reheated over low heat in a saucepan, or in short bursts using medium power in the microwave.

Notes

  1. This recipe is easily doubled and makes a brilliant freezer meal.
  2. You can adjust or remove the fresh chilli in this recipe to suit your preference, especially if the curry powder you’ve got is very spicy.
  3. Curry powder is listed twice; that's not a typo! You need 2 teaspoons in the meatballs and 2 tablespoons in the sauce.
  4. You'll need one bunch of coriander in total, use the top half (leaves and tops of stalks) in the meatballs and the lower stalks and roots in the sauce.
  5. I’ve specified breadcrumbs, however these meatballs can be made gluten free by substituting around half a cup of cooked brown or white rice in place of the breadcrumbs.
  6. For gluten and grain free, a half cup of minced paneer or firm/drained ricotta cheese works in place of crumbs or rice – the meatballs will have a softer texture but are delicious and tender.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 1334mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 668IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 6mg