Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Curried Meatballs with Tomatoes

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

While browsing the pages of The Heirloom Tomato by Amy Goldman I came across this recipe for Curried Meatballs with Tomatoes and immediately recalled a dish of kofta I'd had a while back. While I could not place where exactly I'd eaten these little Indian spiced meatballs floating in a creamy tomato sauce I did remember that they were incredibly delicious and I knew that I had to try out this recipe.

The recipe starts by putting together a sauce of onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cream, and tomatoes. You could use either fresh plum tomatoes or canned but with tomatoes as fresh and plentiful as they are right now I decided that fresh was the way to go. Once all of the ingredients have a chance to soften the are pureed into a bright and creamy sauce. The meatballs (your choice of lamb or beef) are mixed with cream soaked bread crumbs, more garlic and ginger, garam masala, and a touch of cayenne. Instead of frying like an Italian meatball, these are cooked over a rack in the oven allowing the fat to drip out, making for what I am assuming is a much healthier albeit slightly drier meatball. Once cooked through they are plopped in the sauce, and then served over basmati rice with Goldman's raita, yogurt studded with diced cucumbers.

The meatballs have a great heat from the cayenne and the masala, and the tomato sauce has the ideal mix of acid and cream to balance them. The fresh tomato sauce was really the star of this dish—light, fresh, and perfectly spiced. And the best part is that there was plenty leftover, enough to use as a simmering sauce for vegetables even after all of the meatballs are gone.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Heirloom Tomato to give away this week.

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