Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Inspiration: We cook with cilantro more than any other herb. I’d say that about 90% of the time, it’s our herb of choice. We do use a lot of basil, rosemary, and thyme, too, but there’s just something about cilantro. It’s bright, it’s fresh, and it goes so well with many cuisines (including Mexican, of course, which is just about our favorite). Anything cilantro-based is  usually a go in our house, and when the recipe is an Indian curry, well, that just puts it over the top. We really do love curry in just about any form.

What We Loved: The sauce in this curry was earthy and wonderful. It was characterized mainly by the flavor of cilantro, with a great kick of heat from serrano peppers and a touch of sweetness from the coconut oil and coconut milk. Like all great curry sauces, it was rich, complex, and full of earthy spices. I really love meatballs, too, so I enjoyed that aspect of the dish as well. It’s nice to experiment with meatballs in recipes other than those that are Italian or marinara-based.

Tips: This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I would think that you could double the meatball recipe and still have enough sauce (or maybe make half as many more meatballs). I froze the leftover sauce and then served it atop sauteed chicken breasts for another Indian meal later in the week (bonus!).

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce
Source: Slightly adapted from Girl Cooks World
Serves: 2-4 

For the Meatballs
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste

1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl, and mix together. Form into 16-20 meatballs and set aside on a plate.

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened.

2. Add the ginger, garlic, and serrano. Cook for a few minutes until everything begins to brown.

3. Add the cumin, coriander, and garam masala, and stir to coat the vegetables.

4. Add the coconut milk, cilantro, spinach, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.

5. Use an immersion blender to process the mixture until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil again.

6. Add the meatballs, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

7. Stir in the vinegar and serve.


41 thoughts on “Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

  1. Carrie, are you able to grow your own cilantro?
    A special treat for me is the raw, green, coriander seed from the cilantro plant.
    Full of cilantro and citrus flavors.
    The flowers are nice too.

    • I actually just bought some cilantro (along with basil, dill, and chives) to start our first little herb garden. Haven’t gotten them planted yet, though!

      I will have to keep that in mind about the cilantro seeds/flowers – interesting and yum!

  2. I was so happy to see this in my feed reader! So glad you guys liked it as much as I did. And I hear you on the cilantro…. I think I have three or four bunches of it in the fridge right now :)

    • Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! It was awesome. We also made the black eyed pea curry that I found on your blog recently – it was also fab and will be up on our blog shortly! I adore your blog and recipes!!

  3. Looks delicious! I’ll make it soon. Another plus re: cilantro, other than its fabulous taste, is it removes heavy metals from the body i.e. mercury-amalgam fillings.

  4. I have some frozen homemade meatballs that are just crying to be made into this delicious looking dish! Thanks for the recipe and for all the awesome posts (I just discovered your blog today, and it’s my new favourite)!

    • Thank you so much! I hope that you enjoy this dish if you try it out. I really like meatball curries – definitely a different way to use meatballs, right?

  5. This is a winner. Thank you! We LOVE cilantro and it’s growing like weeds in our garden! Perfect! Can’t wait to make this!

  6. This was delicious! I used frozen spinach (so that I could skip the pureeing step as my immersion blender has gone missing) and added a lot more spinach, just because I love it. :-) I also put some of the garlic in the meatballs. Thanks for the hint about the recipe making more than enough sauce! It definitely does. I set aside half of the sauce before adding the meatballs, and will use it to make a different dish later in the week (I’m thinking a kind of Palak Paneer, adding cubes of paneer to this sauce). So good!!

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