On days you feel a little creative, adventurous and just simply want to try something different from your usual home-cooked dishes, then why not have a garlic-infused chicken meatball curry.
I myself love garlic as it’s a versatile ingredient and a store cupboard must-have and can be thrown in many of dishes, be it Italian, Spanish or Indian. This particular recipe is quick and simple to make, using techniques from Spain and India, which is absolutely delicious and a perfect combination of two culinary countries.
I made this recipe last week for a group of friends and honestly couldn’t use fresh chillies as I knew they would have found the dish too spicy. However, I incorporated the Spanish method of preparing meatballs using fresh and aromatic subtle spices and the meatballs were simply divine and just fell apart in your mouth oozing in fragrant spices.
400 grams minced chicken (or meat of your preference)
Generous amount of olive oil
1 large leek, finely sliced
1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
2 small French onions, finely chopped
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dried or fresh bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 teaspoons ground coriander-cumin powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
10 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
3 medium plum tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
250 grams natural Greek yoghurt, whipped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
Generous handful fresh coriander, roughly torn or chopped
Plain flour for dusting
In a large bowl, add in the minced chicken, French onions, ½ a teaspoon of salt, egg, milk, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon coriander-cumin powder, ½ a teaspoon of minced garlic and a ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Knead all the ingredients together until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 3-5 hours in the fridge.
When ready, form meatballs with your hands (you can use an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon to help portions the meatballs) and dust them in plain flour and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan with a generous amount of olive over a medium and shallow fry your meatballs for about 5-7 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove carefully and place on paper towels so that excess oil is absorbed.
Next, heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the crushed peppercorns and allow to crackle for 15-20 seconds. Add the leeks, the remainder of the garlic, chilli flakes and allow to sauté until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Once the onions are golden, add in the tomatoes, Greek yoghurt, salt, coriander-cumin powder and gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken meatballs, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. If you find that the sauce is sticking to the base, add a ¼ cup of water.
Once cooked sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice or Indian bread.