Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recipe: Fragrant Curried Turkey Meatballs

This curry was fragrant and delicious.  There wasn't a drop of sauce left in our bowls.  The recipe has quite a few steps but is worth every effort.  The curry spice is from scratch and you may be surprised by what's included in it.

I served this over noodles but I think it would've tasted better over basmati rice to absorb the sauce better.  Next time I will also use crushed tomatoes instead of diced so it's not as lumpy.

When I formed the meatballs they were mushy and I was tempted to add breadcrumbs to firm them up a bit, however, I trusted in the recipe and just kept going.  When I placed them on top of the sauce I thought there was no way they'd hold together.  Much to my surprise, after 15 minutes simmering they were well formed and floating on top of the sauce.

from The Perfect Pantry

1-1/2 lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp minced ginger root
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp minced onion
1 large egg
3/4 tsp kosher salt

In a large bowl, using your impeccably clean hands, mix all ingredients for the meatballs, adding 3 Tbsp of the minced onion (the remainder will go into the sauce). Do not overmix, but be sure the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Set aside while you make the sauce.

1 medium-large onion, minced (set aside 3 Tbsp for the meatballs)
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 bay leaves
1 small (2-inch) piece of cinnamon stick
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp minced ginger root
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chile powder (cayenne), or to taste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
Kosher salt, to taste (3/4 tsp or more)
Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

In a deep sauce pan, heat the canola oil. Add the remaining onion, bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and saute over medium heat until the onions are golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Cook until the oil comes to the surface, 4-5 minutes, then add 1 cup of water. Continue cooking until the water has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Then stir constantly for 3 minutes; at this point the mixture will be a bit dry.

Add the powdered spices and salt, and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5-6 minutes while you form the meatballs.

Form the turkey into meatballs approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter (the size of large walnuts). Set the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, shaking the pan every 2-3 minutes to turn the meatballs and coat them with the sauce. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the meatballs for 3 minutes. Add the parsley, and shake the pan or gently stir. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

from the book "Aesop's Fables"
translated from the Greek by the Rev. Geo. Fyler Townsend
illustratins designed by Harrison Weir
and engraved by J. Greenaway
1964, Parents Magazine Enterprises, Inc.

I purchased this book from a local thrift shop.


  1. Yummy! Your recipes are so my style. This looks absolutely perfect. Your meatballs look perfect as well, I'm glad you didn't deviate!

  2. Sarah,
    I left you a small gift -- stop by when you get a chance!

  3. We would LOVE this dish! Thanks for sharing. I could see this dish with lamb instead of turkey.


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