Curried Meatballs India House

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Given the frigid Midwest weather that’s been freezing our patooties the last few weeks and the corresponding lo-o-o-o-o-ng hours indoors, we’ve been making lots of stews and such. We did some old favorites–Beef Bourguignon, Ballymaloe House Irish Lamb Stew, Chicken Artichoke & Baby Bella Casserole and  Binyon’s Braised Oxtails Jardiniere, but then gave this 1960s curry recipe a whirl.  Compared to the spicy curries we eat up and down Devon St. in Chicago’s Little India, this is a mild, Americanized dish, but is nonetheless fragrant, comforting and easy to make with ingredients you’ll have on hand.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Meatball Curry Ingredients

  • 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef OR 1, two-pound, well-marbled potroast, ground twice through fine setting of meat grinder
  • 2 finely minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp each ground toasted coriander & ginger
  • 1/4 tsp each ground cloves & cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp good-quality curried powder, divided
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 6 to 8 cups cooked, white basmati rice
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped (to garnish)
  • 1/4 cup chutney (serve with curry)
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (to garnish)


  1. Mix all spices—with the exception of 1 Tbsp of the curry powder–in to the ground beef. Shape into small balls. Set aside.
  2. In heavy saute pan over medium heat, heat coconut oil until hot and saute onion & garlic (NOTE: if you are grinding your own meat, grind the garlic with the meat rather than sauteing with the onion) until onion is translucent and soft. Add meatballs and continue sauteing, turning the meatballs gently until all are well browned. Add tomato puree, 1 Tbsp remaining curry powder, and beef stock. Stir. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Remove cover and continue simmering until beef stock has reduced to desired gravy consistency. (Takes about 1/2 hour.) Serve meatballs over white rice garnished with unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped egg and your favorite chutney.

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