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Indian Butter Chicken Meatballs
with cauliflower / spinach / basmati rice

Active: 45 minTotal: 45 min

Indian butter chicken is a takeout favorite, but this fun version uses chicken meatballs instead of regular chicken.
Smarts: This recipe makes a large batch of butter curry sauce so that you can set aside a portion to use on Thursday’s Indian Naan Pizza.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Basmati Rice:
  • Water - 1 3/4 cups
  • Rice, uncooked basmati - 1 cup
Indian Butter Curry Sauce (for 2 nights):
  • Garam masala - 4 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 2 tsp
  • Curry powder, mild - 2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, fresh - 1 Tbsp, grated
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp (sub ghee)
  • Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Half and half - 1/2 cup
Indian Chicken Meatballs:
  • Chicken, ground - 1 lb (sub ground turkey)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/3 cup
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Indian Meatball Curry:
  • Cauliflower - 1 lb, florets
  • Indian Butter Curry Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 1/2 cups
  • Indian Chicken Meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~20
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek (opt) - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Make rice - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Fill a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat down to low, and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make Indian spice blend - Combine garam masala (portion for sauce), ground coriander, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Cauliflower / Garlic / Ginger - Prep as directed. Store cauliflower in one container. Combine garlic and ginger in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make meatballs - Combine chicken, eggs, panko, garam masala (portion for meatballs), salt, and black pepper. Gently mix together with a spoon or with your hands. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  5. Pre-cook cauliflower - Place cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and steam until nearly tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Make

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and then meatballs to heated oil. Cook meatballs on all sides until light golden brown (but not cooked all the way through), 6 to 8 minutes. Set meatballs aside and return pan to heat.
  2. To heated pan add butter. When butter melts, stir in spice blend, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, ~1 minute.
  3. Pour tomatoes and stock over aromatics, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer sauce for 10 minutes to develop flavor.
  4. Taste sauce and season with some salt if needed. Remove 1 1/2 cups / 400 mL of sauce and reserve for Thursday’s pizza (for 4 servings; adjust if customizing).
  5. To remaining sauce, stir in half and half. Add meatballs and cover. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more.
  6. Gently stir cauliflower and spinach into sauce. Cover and cook until spinach is fully wilted, ~2 minutes more.
  7. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  8. Serve meatballs and sauce over rice. Tear cilantro leaves to serve on top. Enjoy with yogurt.

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (40)
Gluten-free (5)
Paleo (2)
Vegetarian (18)

44 reviews

I kinda screwed up a bunch of things, but it still came out tasting delicious

By: Jenna
Posted: May 24, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This took quite a while to make, but was worth it -- it was extra delicious. Definitely important to do the prep separate from cooking the meal. I doubled the sauce. I also added in peas and peppers. I was surprised at how easy and effective it was to microwave steam the cauliflower.

By: Caroline
Posted: May 19, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

It was great. Toasting then grinding whole spices makes a big difference. Add a little buttermilk to the meatballs.

By: Michael
Posted: May 13, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Delicious! Didn't make any substitutions. The meatballs were a tad dense, but we thought the whole dish was great.

By: Julie
Posted: May 12, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

We really liked this! Subbed canned coconut cream for the half and half and added a little sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes (maybe 1/2 tsp).

By: Rebecca
Posted: May 11, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

It was too spicy for the kids with the red pepper flakes in it, but delicious. I used chard and it was my favorite part with the spicy sauce on it; wish I had more (probably used the greens of half a bunch). The sauce was a lot darker and thicker than I expected, maybe because I used diced tomatoes (the store was out of crushed tomatoes).

By: Karen
Posted: May 09, 2020
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful