When it comes to finger food, Indian cuisine is perfect. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you traditionally eat Indian food with…your fingers! Ha, that was my one corny joke I’m allowed on this blog. I promise, no more 🙂
But the deliciousness of these succulent meatballs is no joke. I served these up for the first time at a game night I hosted with my small group of friends. I called it a success because I was able to get the most reluctant of “exotic” food eaters to try these! It was a nice change from barbecue sauce covered meatballs simmering in a crockpot that you get at a lot of parties. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love me some bite sized meatballs smothered in barbecue sauce. Mmmm.
Some of my Indian friends might be wondering why I’m not calling these “kebabs”. Traditionally, you would call these kebabs. But I wanted to change that here because these kebabs are made with ground beef. Most people who aren’t super duper familiar with Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine associate the word “kebab” with skewered cuts of meat. I didn’t want people to stumble upon this recipe and feel cheated like, “Oh, Nadia, I thought we were going to get a recipe for tender chunks of meat cooked to perfection over an open flame.” I know you, that’s exactly what you would say. 😉 So to conclude my rant, these are a minced meat kebabs, which is very, very common in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Call them whatever you’d like, but the point is that they are very, very tasty.
I would highly recommend you serve these up with some warm, buttery naan. Actually, I take that back. I’m going to say it’s required to serve these up with some warm, buttery naan. 🙂
Oh, and mango chutney! Really, any kind of chutney or dipping sauce is so amazing with these. Remember my comment about barbecue sauce with meatballs? Sauce + meatballs = magic. I didn’t buy this amazing mango chutney at some exotic Indian store in a land far, far away. I got it from good ol’ Trader Joe’s, and it was better than any mango chutney I’ve ever eaten. I’m getting really hungry now. Thanks for trying new things, friends!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- ½ cup cilantro, minced
- Salt to taste
- 1 bowl of cold water (for ease in forming the kebabs)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients except for the beef together until well combined.
- Add the meat, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to overwork the meat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum paper. No need to grease the paper.
- Form into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Dip your hands in the bowl of cold water if the meat starts to stick to your hands too much.
- Place on baking sheet, no less than ½ inch apart. Cook for 30-45 minutes, turning them halfway through the baking process. Meatballs should be browned on the outside.
- Remove from oven and let them sit, covered for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Tip for mincing the onion: use the large side of your cheese grater, so you don't get large bits of onion in your meatball. Unless of course, you like to get a large bite of onion every once in a while. 🙂