Chicken meatballs oven-baked to juicy perfection and served in a luscious curry sauce! These meatballs may become your favorite go-to lunch recipe on weekends. The perfect amount of spices, coconut and creamy texture from the almonds make this curry aka sauce one of the healthiest and yummiest recipes you would have ever come across.
Meal prep: The curry paste and chicken balls can be made ahead and frozen for a week, so this recipe can work perfectly well for a midweek dinner too.
Are curries healthy?
A general misconception is that curries are unhealthy and full of fat. That’s definitely not the case with homemade curries (unless you intentionally add a lot of saturated fat) and specifically not this recipe, unlike the ones served in restaurants which are laden with butter, cream and coconut milk. That being said, the traditional version of the curry with chicken meatballs is made with fried chicken meatballs, but I baked them which look and taste as delicious and the meatballs are not swimming in oil.
Curries can be very healthy and there is a lot of variety too- curries with lentils, beans, vegetables, chicken, egg, fish, goat, prawns or just about any vegetable or meat. Curries are so easy and versatile; you can cook up a tasty nutritious curry with just some onions, tomatoes and chilies. You can also make an elaborate curry with roasted aromatic spices and herbs.
Okay, so is this a curry or a sauce?
This recipe combines a sauce made of Indian curry spices with chicken meatballs. That can be served with rice or pasta. Yes. PASTA. Indian curry sauce on an Italian dish? Please judge me after you try this recipe. And I hope the recipe police is not after me for going wild, mixing up different cuisines.
My logic is that as long as something tastes delicious and is healthy, why not try cooking it? (even if it means throwing authenticity out of the kitchen window!)
what makes oven-baked chicken meatballs juicy?
Do you firmly believe that red meat tastes better and is juicier than white meat? This recipe is the one that will change your mind forever. The baked chicken meatballs not only absorb the flavors of the spices but also moisture from the curry sauce making them juicy. The sauce gets its creamy texture from the ground almonds, the only source of (good) fat in this recipe. As you can see in the recipe, I’ve used only a tablespoon of coconut and the rest of the job is done by the good guys – the almonds.
How to make the chicken meatballs
Preheat the oven at 220°C for 10 minutes. Minced chicken, finely chopped red onion, ginger garlic paste, chili powder, cumin powder, egg white and breadcrumbs – mix everything well with your hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into about 15 small lime-sized balls.
Arrange the meatballs in a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil. Place the sheet pan in the oven, bake for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken meatballs and bake for another 5 minutes.
How to make the curry sauce
Blend shallots, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste. Puree the tomatoes. Blend grated coconut and almonds.
Heat oil in a pan, add the shallot paste and saute until browned. Then add the tomato puree and heat until the mixture thickens. Now add all the spice powders, salt and 1 cup of water, cover and let it boil for about 15 minutes at medium heat.
The chicken meatballs would be ready by now. Add the meatballs and the coconut paste to the curry and let it boil further for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
The long list of ingredients might be intimidating, but the cooking part is quite straight forward and easy. Did I say that you can freeze both the meatballs and the sauce? Then it becomes much easier to enjoy this recipe any time, any day of the week.
Have you tried cooking a healthier version of a traditional dish?
I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Chicken meatballs in curry
For the chicken meatballs:
- 500 grams Minced chicken
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp powdered oats/bread crumbs
- 2 tsp oil
- salt and pepper
For the curry sauce:
- 12 shallots
- 1 inch ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp grated coconut
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 tsp oil
- cilantro – to garnish
- Preheat the oven at 220°C for 10 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the chicken meatballs and shape them into small lime-sized balls. Arrange them in a sheet pan or baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil.
- Place the tray in the oven, bake for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken meatballs and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the curry sauce. Blend the shallots, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste. Puree the tomatoes. Heat oil in a pan, add the shallot paste and saute until it browns. Then add the tomato puree and heat until the mixture thickens. Now add all the spice powders, salt and 1 cup of water, cover and let it boil for about 15 minutes at medium heat. Blend the grated coconut and almonds into a smooth paste.
- The chicken meatballs would be ready by now. Add the meatballs and the coconut paste to the curry and let it boil further for 10 minutes or until the required consistency is reached. Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with pasta, rice, naan or bread of your choice.