Indian Meatball Curry
This delicious Indian Meatball Curry combines my favorite curry recipe with tender meatballs. It's a healthy and easy to make dinner recipe that is easy to fall in love with.
Meatballs and curry together at last! That's right, my friends. What we've got here is an Indian Meatball Curry and it is delish.
I've started by tweaking my Easy Butter Chicken recipe then spiced up some meatballs with curry flavor. Those two simmer together till they become a rich and tasty dinner.
This is one of those dinner recipes that is easy to serve when you've got people with different diets sitting at your table. I'm pointing the finger at myself here as I'm toying with the idea of doing The Whole30 Program again.
When I served this at dinner a few nights ago, my handsome man and my dad spooned their curry over heaping plates of basmati. I ate mine with cauliflower rice, cause I'm a bit of a weirdo.
READ MORE: How to make cauliflower rice
Did you see that meatball up there swimming around in the curry? I've never put the word beautiful in front of balls before, but that's what's going through my mind. → And if you can't hear the word balls without your mind heading in a totally not meatball direction, then we're kindred spirits.
For this recipe, I went back to those Lemongrass Vietnamese Meatballs I shared last year and tweaked them so they're Indian. It's one of my fav meatball recipes as it's so flavorful.
I toned down the flavor a bit as I didn't want them to compete with the curry, but even on their own, these meatballs are still delicious. Make sure to mince the onion, ginger, and garlic until they're almost a paste. This will help keep the meatballs tender.
Want to know another trick for making tender meatballs? Don't pack them tightly. You want to use a gentle hand and avoid really squishing them together. Easy does it, my friends!
One of my fav recipes on this blog is my Easy Butter Chicken. I used that same recipe as a base recently when I made us the Cashew Butter Chicken. It's super versatile and can easily be tweaked to use in different recipes. Like this one!
It starts off with a simple Indian marsala – that fragrant combination of well-cooked onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and spices. I like to put it in my blender so that it turns extra creamy. Once you make that delicious gravy, you simply add in some almond butter and some cream, yogurt, coconut milk, or cashew cream.
You can use whichever you have on hand and best suits your diet. I've tried all the options and they're all delicious.
READ MORE: Crockpot Butter Chicken
Favorite curry recipes
- Mango Chicken Curry
- Cashew Coconut Salmon Curry
- Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry
- Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry
- Easy Butter Chicken
Indian Meatball Curry
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon each: cumin and coriander
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup plain yogurt, cream, coconut milk, or cashew cream (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Optional: 2 tablespoons brown or coconut sugar, omit for Whole30
- 2 lbs. ground beef, or ground pork, or ground lamb, or a combination
- 2 tablespoons each: very finely minced ginger and onion
- 1 tablespoon each: sea salt, curry powder, and fish sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and scrape any stuck on bits off the bottom of the pan.2 medium onions, 4 cloves garlic, 2 inch piece of ginger, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon each: cumin and coriander, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Transfer to a blender and add 1 cup of water, the cream, almond butter, sea salt, and if you're using, the sugar. Blend on high until smooth.¼ cup plain yogurt, cream, coconut milk, or cashew cream (see notes), 2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini, 2 teaspoons sea salt, Optional: 2 tablespoons brown or coconut sugar
- While the onions are cooking, make the meatballs. Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the meat well. Form into 12 balls, being careful to use a light hand and not to pack the balls tightly.2 lbs. ground beef, or ground pork, or ground lamb, or a combination, 2 tablespoons each: very finely minced ginger and onion, 1 tablespoon each: sea salt, curry powder, and fish sauce, 4 cloves garlic
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned all over, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the curry from the blender into the skillet with the meatballs. Bring to a simmer then reduce the meat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 15 minutes. If the curry gets too thick, add a little extra water to the pan to thin it.
- While the curry is simmering, take this time to make some rice or cauliflower rice to serve it with.
Absolutely delicious! Added a bag of baby spinach at the end to include some veggies and lighten the sauce. Used coconut peanut butter which was all I had. Cut back the ginger and salt as suggested by others and used 1 tbsp of cane sugar. Used a little more curry powder and added 1/8 tsp cayenne for some heat. This is the type of recipe that one can add a few modifications to taste however the basics of the recipe are very good. Thank you Kristen!
This is a delicious curry dish, everyone asks for the recipe. I do add a small tin of curry paste if only adults eating. I did reduce the salt in both sauce and meatballs. It uses lots of ginger and garlic, so have plenty on hand. A winner.
Super tasty – I must have used a different curry as mine was more red coloured, but that didn’t matter. I love every recipe I’ve tried from this site, by the way, and always tell others!
For this I found it a bit acidic, probably too much ginger – that’s me winging it, not the recipe! So I just blobbed a some extra yogurt in. Oh, I made some roti to eat it with with… thank you so much.
Thanks so much, Sandra!!
Thanks for sharing the recipe, but I am disappointed to say that, even though I followed the recipe to a tee, I found the meatballs were lacking in flavors and way too salty. The only thing that was tasty is the sauce. I dont know how you cooked everything in 20min, as the browning of the onions took 15min, then another 1min to cook the spices, then another to blend the sauce. Then 15min to fry the meatballs which were made while the onions were caramelizing. So even with overlapping time the sauce and the meatballs took more than 20min. Took another 15 min to simmer the meatballs in the sauce. I’d say this recipe will not satisfy a palate that is accustomed to robust flavors/spices. And please, mind your salt consumption.
I added toasted coconut to the cauliflower rice delious
This makes a really nice flavorful sauce that goes well with rice and we enjoyed it a lot. You could substitute the meatballs for any other protein since the sauce carries the dish…but these meatballs are so good why would you? A couple of tweaks I made was to add some whole dried chile peppers to the sauce while it simmers for a little kick and some minced cilantro to the meatballs because everything needs cilantro. Thank you for the recipe I make it a few times a month.
Thank you for letting us know you loved the recipe!
This recipe is top tier and I’m in love with it
That is so wonderful to hear, Aysha!
So simple and quick! This sauce was so creamy and flavorful we used the leftovers as a chilled dip. The meatballs were perfectly spiced – not over-the-top, but just perfect, subtle and fresh. And both the sauce and meatballs get even more flavorful after they sit overnight, making awesome leftovers for lunch (especially as a wrap). We didn’t have almond butter but subbed macadamia nut butter and it worked great!
What a great idea for the leftovers!!
Love this recipe SO much! Based on the ingredients I’m assuming it would fit a keto diet but it would be nice to see some macros.
So happy to hear that you love the recipe! We’re working on adding the nutritional info to all of our recipes. I’ll flag this one so it’s done sooner!
Have you tried this with ground chicken? Seems a good match to me…
I haven’t but I think it would work really well!
My wife and I made this and was amazed by the depth of flavour and already turned into one of our favourites when guests are round ??
So happy to hear the recipe was a hit! Thank you for coming back to comment!
Great curry! Did used the coconut and tahini! Have to admit I didn’t blend it though…chunky if good with me. Flavor just rocks!
I’m so happy to hear it was a hit!
Hi, looks nice! How many people does this recipe serve?
The recipe makes 4 servings!
Hi–how many small meatballs does the recipe actually make? I’m looking to make this as appetizers for a big crowd (and there will be plenty of other dishes), so I need to estimate total # of meatballs. Thanks!
The recipe makes 12 slightly bigger than golf ball-sized meatballs, You could easily make them half that size and get 24 out of the recipe. 🙂
Oh man this was awesome!! This is 100% a remake.
I’m so happy you liked it!
I really enjoyed these! The recipe is relatively simple compared to other Indian dishes and it’s reasonably healthy. I added more of the spices, though, as mine turned out bland at first. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
So happy you liked them!
Made these yesterday and they were so good. The flavor was even better today for lunch. A real winner.
I think the best part about Indian dishes is the leftovers. They’re always even better! So happy you liked the recipe!
Flavor was just ok. I made it exactly as directed, using yogurt and almond butter, and for the meatballs, half beef and half pork. I added a generous sprinkling of cilantro on top, but even that didn’t do the trick. Meatballs were ok. Sauce was ok. I made enough for two meals so tomorrow I’ll add curry powder and a touch of asafoetida powder to see if I can get more of a curry or Indian flavor I’d hoped for.
A little labor intensive, but fine for a non-work night.
I’m so sorry to hear they weren’t your favorite!
Anyone make this inan instant pot?
Super tasty and easy! Will definitely make again!
I’m so happy you liked it!
Made it twice – first time, great flavor balance, a delightful curry-but-not-curry surprise, perfect for guests who are receptive to unexpected flavors but whose palates you can’t risk offending.
Sauce: as a heat/garlic freak myself, i just had to try doubling the garlic and introducing a touch of habanero to the onion saute – can you say BLOSSOM? All the other flavors were magnified, especially the nut/seed component (I used cashew butter, but I think it would have the same effect with tahini, almond butter, even peanut butter, which is what I’m gonna try next).
Meatballs: didn’t change a thing – perfect!
I’m so happy you enjoyed it! I’m with you on the heat. I usually tone down my recipes heat wise for the blog otherwise I’m afraid hardly anyone would be able to eat them lol.
I may be missing it but I feel like both here and on Whole 30 recipes you left out where to add the cumin and coriander…???
Hey Ginny! You add them with the garlic and ginger for a quick cook before everything gets blended together. 🙂
Hi! When you say coconut milk- do you mean full fat coconut milk from a can? Or would it work to use the liquid kind (I’m thinking like Silk brand?)
I used the kind from the can, which I think would work better. It’s a pretty small amount though so if you have the drinking kind on hand, I’d say just go for it. Save a trip to the grocery store!
I don’t think that’s so weird, eating this over cauliflower rice. I love Indian sauces so much, I would eat them over ANYTHING.
Haha I totally feel the same way. I only ever have enough rice or cauliflower rice to make it easier to eat the curry. Lots of sauce for me!
Thankful for the beautiful photos and the idea! Pined ! Will be back for more !
You are so welcome!
Can’t wait to make this again! It’s delicious!
I’m so happy you liked it! Horray!!
OMG, this recipe is everything. Indian meatballs are my FAVORITE dish at our local curry house, so I’ll have to make these!
Your curry restaurant makes meatball curry? My mind is blown! I’ve honestly never seen it on a menu before. Maybe I need to eat out more lol. I’d love to know if it’s similar to the one you have!
Hi Kristen I like your meatball recipe but what kind of curry powder do you use Indonesische or garam masala because there are 1000 sorts of curry powder. Please let me know Greetings Eduard Van Straaten
You’re right, there are tons of different curry powders. The one I used for this recipe simply says ‘curry powder’ on the label. I’d say it’s more similar to garam masala, only with more turmeric.