Curried Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are awesome.  They’re slightly sweet from the coriander and slightly spicy from the cayenne, and rounded out nicely with cinnamon and ginger and bay leaf.  They’re very firm and hold together quite well.  The sauce is thin as the meatballs are the stand-out part of this dish.  We loved these when they were first made and we had them for dinner, and they were superb left over for lunch the next day as well.  They re-heated nicely and freeze well too.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

1 ½ lb ground turkey

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg

3/4 tsp kosher salt

½ cup panko

For the sauce:

1 medium-large onion, minced

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 bay leaves

1 small piece of cinnamon stick

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tsp minced ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups water

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the meatballs, adding 3 Tbsp of the minced onion (the remainder will go into the sauce)
  • Form meatballs the size of walnuts and bake for 20 minutes
  • 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 brown at the edges
  • 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
  • Set the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook the meatballs for 3 minutes.

curried turkey meatbals over basmati rice with collard greens

I opted to serve these over basmati rice, with collard greens and naan on the side, but they would be good wrapped in some naan (grinder-style), or over egg noodles, or quinoa as well.

J

Recipe adapted from a post on The Perfect Pantry

Chicken curry

This curry recipe is fantastic!  It’s sweet and it’s spicy, and it’s even better left over.  I think that when I make it again I’ll add some raisins to it, and maybe some kind of seeds or nuts too, just for a bit of texture.  You could serve this as a main dish with some sides, or you could have it over rice, or in a dish with a piece of naan to sop up the wonderful sauce- and it really is wonderful.

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup tomato sauce

Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

Salt

1 cup water

Garam masala

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Directions

  • In a medium, cast-iron fry pan, heat the olive oil. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is golden brown

  • Add the turmeric and tomato sauce and simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened

  • Season the chicken breast chunks with salt and add them to the pan. Coat the chicken with the sauce. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring a few times, until the chicken is white throughout, about 10 minutes

  • Season the chicken curry with salt

  • Plate the chicken and sauce. Sprinkle garam masala on top, garnish with the cilantro and serve.

J

Chickpeas stewed in tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños and ginger

I believe that my statement after eating leftovers of this dish was “I just burned my soul”.  So, yeah, it has a bit of heat to it.  But the flavor is amazing, and the sensation of your gums tingling for a good 20 minutes post consumption isn’t so bad 😉

This is intended to be a side dish, but it could certainly be served over some basmati rice as a meal on its own.  I would highly recommend having naan and yogurt with it as a way to cool your mouth and give your taste buds a break.

If you prefer less heat, just use one jalapeño and a sprinkle of cayenne instead of what’s called for in the recipe.

Ingredients

8 garlic cloves, chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped

One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 onions, diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes

Two (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups water

Salt

2 tablespoons cilantro

Directions

  • In a food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeños and ginger and process to a paste
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned

  • Add the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant
  • Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for a minute
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer over moderate heat until thickened
  • Add the chickpeas and water and simmer until the chickpeas are flavored with the gravy, about 8 minutes

  • Season with salt and garnish with cilantro and serve

J

Garam Masala Collards with Lentils & Tomatoes

This dish is packed with some amazing flavor.  I made the full recipe and served it as a side dish, then brought small containers to work all week after for snacks.  The flavor was more amazing each day.

One important thing to note is that if you’re eating collard greens for their nutritional benefit and not just for their wonderful flavor factor, you should try to cut them ahead of cooking/eating and let them sit for 10 minutes.  Read further on why here.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bunch collard greens, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
1 cup red lentils

Directions

  • Bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook for until the onion is translucent.
  • Stir in garam masala and cook for a minute.

  • Add tomatoes (including the juice) with 1 cup water and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in collards. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

  • Combine lentils and 2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 8 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  • Stir the lentils into the skillet with the collards and serve.

J

Raita

When I made the spicy coconut shrimp recently, I was in need of a side dish.  Since the shrimp were being served on top of rice, I didn’t want a pasta side, and I couldn’t figure what veg what go perfectly, so I went in search of something that would be cool and crisp.  This is where I discovered raita.

From what I’ve read, raita has its roots in Pakistan and/or India.  It’s typically used as a sauce or a dip, a condiment really.  I adapted it by making a chunkier version that was served as a salad.

Ingredients

1 Cucumber

1 Tomato

1 green chili, finely chopped

½ Cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Mix together all ingredients and serve chilled

I did find that as the salad chilled, the veggies dropped some water and the yogurt solidified a bit, looking funny.  no worries!  Just give it a good stir and it’ll look great again.

J