Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Coconut Sauce

I always wondered what could I possibly make with ground chicken that wouldn't be better with ground beef. Ground chicken is like the diet coke of ground meat, just not evil enough. But somehow, it turns up in my freezer every now and then, usually when all other meat supplies have been exhausted. It looks at me, pale and undecided, willing to soak up any flavors I'll add to it, because truly, it hasn't much of it's own.
I tossed it in a bowl and let it defrost for the next hour. Desperate, I sat down in front of the computer and googled "ground chicken" and looked at random pictures. By the third page, I finally found something that looked appetizing enough. The recipe was coming from Indian Cooking and was simply called Spicy Chicken Pops. A quick browse through the recipe and it was clear I would have to improvise. A lot.
It called for ginger-garlic paste, garam masala and  kasoorimethi. I could figure a way to make the first two from scratch, but the last one was tricky. It happens to be dried fenugreek leaves.

Well, at least I had some kind of direction with what to do with that ground chicken.

This recipe is for 500 g of meat.

So, I started making my own garam masala mix and while I eye balled the amounts, it had more or less the following proportions:

1 coffee spoon of black pepper
1 coffee spoon of white pepper
1/2 coffee spoon of cardamom
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds (ground)
 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 coffee spoon of dried ginger (ground) - optional

I happened to have all the spices already ground, but if you have a spice/coffee grinder, you can use any whole seeds you have instead.
Now put this mixture in a small skillet and roast it for about 3 minutes on high heat.

Transfer into a small bowl and add a little bit of oil until you can make a thick paste.

I then chopped 1 medium sized onion, a little piece of ginger and 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh coriander (parsley would be just fine too) together in the blender (finely).


Now add everything to the ground chicken and season with salt. You don't have to use all  of the garam masala. I personally used about 3/4 because I was afraid it would be too pungent for my toddlers to eat.

Shape little bite size meat balls and fry them until they are nice and golden brown. When ready, pick each of them with a toothpick (if you don't like the thought of getting your hands so close to the frying pan, just transfer them onto a plate and insert a toothpick on each one). Set aside.

I had a can of coconut cream laying around, so I pour it in my blender, added 4 garlic cloves, some sprigs of parsley (could be mint too!) and seasoned with salt, black pepper and few drops of lemon juice.

I prepared some instant couscous, adding a little bit of turmeric for a nice yellow color...
...and voilá!

Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Coconut Sauce


  1. Very beautiful presentation in last picture! It reminds me kansai food Tako-yaki. ^0^

    I have never tried couscous but it look very tasty. I have always just seen it in pale gray coloring.

  2. Oh my goodness!!! This looks divine!!! I am so all about the sauce!!!

  3. I am SO going to make this. My mouth is just watering :)

  4. I must say, this looks damn good ;]

  5. These look absolutely wonderful!