Meatballs.....sounds very western, but we grew up eating this thing except that in our part of the world they were known as koftas....or to be more precise meat kofta...the other well known cousin of it was non-veg manchurian....so you basically got the idea what I'm talking about. Meatball is ball of ground meat mixed with different spices, sometime uses binding agent like egg, some sort of veggies like onion etc..
Different people in different countries make them in different ways. I too make them in 3-4 different ways but this is the one which is more popular in my household specially with my DD, so I always have these handy. Yes, I usually makes a big batch, let them cool down & then freeze them, so whenever DD wants something special for lunch in the school(though she wants special every single day but that's another story) or after school snack, meatball comes to the rescue.....in rice pulav,pasta salad or just like that.
- 1 pound of ground chicken/turkey (i use 80% fat free, as little fat gives it nice softness & flavour)
- 1 pound of ground pork (u can use chicken only if u don't eat pork)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 large carrot grated/shredded finely
- 2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
- 4 or more green chillies finely chopped(adjust as per your taste)
- half cup of chopped cilantro( or parsley, whatever u like)
- juice of half lime
- 2&1/2 tsp. of salt (for 2 pound of meat)
- 1 tsp/ paprika
- 2 tsp. cumin(jeera) powder
- 2 tsp. coriander(dhania) powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. turmeric (haldi)
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- little oil
1) Saute the onions little bit so that they don't have raw onion smell(it helps in keeping the meat mixture soft).
2) Take a big bowl mix everything in the ingredient list including onions. Mix them using your hands. Cover it & let it sit in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours, I usually do this step in the night & keep the mixture overnight in the fridge.3) Take the mixture out at least half an hour before you plan to make meatballs.
4) There are different ways to cook them, baking is one of them which I prefer to do. Grease 2 baking sheets using 1tblsp. of oil per sheet, pre-heat oven at 400 degree F. Grease your hand little bit, using a spoon scoop the mixture out & roll them into ball using your hands & put them into the baking sheet. Balls are roughly 1 & 1/2 inch in diameter. Once all the balls are done gently shake the tray so that balls kind of roll in it so that they get coating of oil on it(or otherwise u can use cooking spray).
5) Put them in the centre rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes or till they r done & golden brown in color. Once in the middle of baking take the tray out & shake it so that balls move little bit & rotate the tray position while putting it back.6) To check for doneness cut a meatball into half, it should be no longer pink from inside.
Note : depending upon the size of meatball, kind of mixture & oven temp. baking time varies. If you want you can use meat thermometer also but i don't have one. When they are fresh they can be eaten just like that as finger food or if you plan to freeze them for later use, you can simply put them in the sauce/gravy while it's still cooking & let them defrost in the sauce itself, that way they won't dry up.
You can always use fat-free meat to make it totally healthy......as the fat if any, in this dish, is coming only from the meat.