South Indian Meatball Curry


For the Spice Paste

  • 3 tablespoon puffed gram**
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-inch ginger piece, minced
  • 3-4 small green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 small cinnamon stick**

For the Meatballs

  • 600g minced beef (or meat of your choice)
  • 2 medium-sized red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Curry

  • 1 tamarind pulp
  • Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon curry leaves
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped and divided to two
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida**
  • 200ml Kara UHT Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Add all the ingredients for the “Spice Paste” into a small grinder or blender, then add a little water (2 tablespoon) and blend to form a coarse paste.
  2. Add the “Spice Paste” and the remaining ingredients of meatballs into the bowl of minced meat.
  3. Gently mix the meatball mixture to incorporate the ingredients uniformly. Do not over-mixing the meatball mixture to avoid dense meatball.
  4. Using gentle pressure to roll the meatball mixture into lime-sized meatballs and place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place the meatballs in the freezer (10-15 minutes).
  6. Soak the tamarind pulp in a small bowl of boiled water till soften, strain to remove the seeds and pulp.
  7. Heat oil for shallow frying in a wide nonstick pan and place the meatballs gently into the oil.
  8. Gently shake the pan so that the meatballs don’t stick to the bottom. Flip the meatball over when the side is slightly golden.
  9. Once the meatballs are lightly golden on both sides, remove from the oil and set aside.
  10. Heat 2-3 tablespoon of oil, then add the black mustard seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves and red onion.
  11. Saute briefly till softened, then add half of the chopped garlic.
  12. Continue to sauté on a low flame till it’s nice and fragrant.
  13. Add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder, stir quickly till fragrant.
  14. Add the tomatoes, then turn up the heat and fry till softened to a pulp. When tomatoes are nicely mashed, add 4 cups of water, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  15. Add two ladles of tamarind solution, salt, and Asafoetida to the simmering curry.
  16. Lay the meatballs in the curry gently and continue to simmer for 20 minutes on low to medium flame. Give the pan a gentle shake every now and then.
  17. Add 100-150 ml of Kara UHT Coconut Cream, gently shake the pan to incorporate the coconut cream into the curry.
  18. In another small pan, heat 2 teaspoon of oil, add some chopped garlic and fry till golden brown. Then add this to the curry and gently mix it in.
  19. Add the black pepper powder and fresh coriander leaves. If you want to loosen the consistency of the curry, can add a little bit of boiled hot water.
  20. Drizzle the remaining Kara UHT Coconut cream over the curry before serving.


  • Puffed gram, also known as Bengal gram dal, roasted gram, or fried gram. It is black chickpeas (Kala Chana) that are processed by removing the outer skin, splitting the inner pale-colored chickpea in half, and then roasting the resulting peas to give them a nutty aroma and crunchy texture.
  • Only use a small piece of cinnamon stick in the meatball mixture to avoid overpower all the other flavors.
  • Asafoetida is the dried gum resin obtained from the roots of Ferula plants. It is commonly dried to a powder and extensively used in Indian cuisine. If you are not able to buy this ingredient, you may replace with ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon onion powder.

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