A big pan of lightly spiced, flavourful meatballs in a rich, fragrant sauce – what’s not to love?!
I’m a sucker for a good meatball. It has to be homemade as I’m a bit funny about processed meat, but I’ve never had a homemade meatball that I didn’t like. Traditional English with mash and lots of onion gravy, Thai influenced turkey meatballs on noodles, Italian Pork and Fennel Meatballs (one of my favourites) with pasta, or Swedish, served with a rich, creamy gravy. Yes please, I’ll have them all.
And this Indian influenced meatball joins the list.
You need to give it a go.
As well as being a sucker for meatballs I’m also a sucker for quick cooking and these beauties tick that box too. You can get these in the pan faster than you can get to the shop to buy ready-made. Here’s how you do it.
First, get your sauce going. Once you’ve heated your oil, the spices need just a minute to fry – this cooks the garlic and ginger and wakes up the dried spices. Next, it’s in with the tomatoes, water and seasonings. A quick stir, lid on. Easy!
And the meatballs are just as simple. Mix and roll. That’s it!
Now, pop the meatballs into the sauce, cover and wait for the heat to do its thing.
After 10 minutes the meatballs need stirring. When you take the lid off they will look anaemic but give them a stir (don’t worry, they won’t break up), and they will be covered in the gorgeously rich tomato sauce. Now they will look like little nuggets of pure goodness. A few more minutes in the pan is all they need.
Now, I add spinach to my meatball sauce, but if you’re a regular reader you will see that I add spinach to most sauces (although, ironically I forgot to for the photos. Duh!). It’s just a thing I’ve got going on at the moment. I love it.
If the spinach thing is not for you then feel free to leave it out. Serve some broccoli, or anything else that takes your fancy, alongside instead. All that’s left to do is thicken the sauce and serve.
These meatballs are great served with naan (like in the photo), rice or cauliflower rice. Oh, and a little bit of mango chutney on the side!
Spiced Lamb Meatballs in a Fragrant Tomato Sauce
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 thumb sized piece ginger (finely grated)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 x400g tin tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach (optional)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
For the meatballs
- 400 g lamb mince (I use 10% fat)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 1 clove garlic (crushed*)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Naan (rice or cauliflower rice and mango chutney (optional)**)
For the sauce
- Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, ⅓ of a can of water, the sugar, salt and pepper.
- Simmer, lid on, over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
For the meatballs
- Place all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Roll the meatball mixture into 16-24 meatballs (depending on your preference).
- Place the meatballs into the gently simmering sauce, cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir the meatballs gently and leave to cook for a further 5-10 minutes depending on their size.
- Check the meatballs are fully cooked.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
- Mix the corn flour with a tiny bit of cold water and pour into the sauce. Stir then leave to simmer for 30 seconds.
- Stir again then serve.