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Northern Indian Lamb Meatballs

Northern Indian Lamb Meatballs

2 small garlic cloves

1 piece (1-inch) peeled fresh ginger, sliced

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

¾ tsp. cayenne pepper, divided

3 tbsp. ground coriander, divided

1 can (8-ounce) plain tomato sauce

1 dried bay leaf

Coarse salt

12 ounces ground lamb

1 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 large egg

6 prunes, quartered

½ tsp. garam masala

Pickled vegetables, for serving

Indian flatbread, for serving

½ tsp. ground turmeric


Process garlic, ginger, and 1 ½ teaspoons water in a food processor until a chunky paste forms; set aside. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Set aside one quarter of onion in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon garlic paste, ½ cup water, the turmeric, ½ teaspoon cayenne, and 2 tablespoons coriander to onion in skillet. Cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add tomato sauce, 1 ½ cups water, and the bay leaf. Season with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer.

Mix reserved onion, lamb, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg, 1 teaspoon each garlic paste and salt, and remaining teaspoon coriander and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Divide into 24 pieces; roll into balls. Stuff each meatball with a prune quarter; roll to enclose. Add meatballs to simmering sauce (add water if meatballs are not covered by sauce). Cook until sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir in garam masala. Serves: 4.

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