Paleo Indian Spiced Lamb Meatballs

2013-01-24
Often inspired by the Food Network, I adapted a recipe from Aarti Sequerira from the show “Aarti Party.”  As I have mentioned in previous recipes, I love the spice and complexity of Indian flavors. Chef Sequerira seeks to make those flavors accessible to home chefs, and I loved this recipe!  Her recipe was already close to being Paleo-friendly; I merely omitted the pomegranate molasses.  I did not miss the sweetness at all with the already abundance of fresh flavors!  I adjusted the seasoning quantities slightly, but the main difference between my recipe and the original is the cooking process.

Originally, her recipe was for making lamb kabobs.  After buying the ingredients for this recipe, I discovered that I had forgotten to find and buy bamboo skewers.  After thinking it through, I decided that I would simply turn them into meatballs, and it worked perfectly.  By making meatballs, it eliminates the time it takes to soak the skewers and lessens the difficulty of cooking the meat properly.  I had also never made kabobs before, so a meatball certainly took the guesswork out of the cooking process.

I used fresh cilantro and mint for this recipe.  The first time I made them, I did not have mint, so I did without.  The end result for both was delicious, but I definitely enjoyed the flavors of the mint and cilantro paired with garam masala.  If you only have dried herbs, it should still be tasty!  The shallots will provide plenty of moisture along with the fat in the meat.  Another change I made the second time around was using lime zest instead of lemon zest.  The change was from sheer necessity because I did not have a fresh lemon.  I actually like the pairing of lime more than lemon with flavors like cilantro, and the meatballs turned out extremely flavorful and delicious.  You can use either lemon or lime, and it should not change the satisfaction of this dish.

These scrumptious meatballs can be served with my Paleo TabboulehPaleo Pineapple Rasam or Paleo Bombay Sweet Potatoes.  The sky is the limit.  I tossed the leftovers onto a salad with the paleo tabbouleh, and it was a very satisfying lunch!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 large shallots, finely minced
  • zest of one lemon or lime
  • 1 tbs fresh mint, finely minced
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 2. Mix shallots, garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, lime zest, garam masala, and black pepper in a medium bowl
  • 3. Add baking soda and mix thoroughly
  • 4. In a large bowl place ground lamb
  • 5. Add spice and veggie mix to lamb and mix well with your hands
  • 6. Let rest for a few minutes
  • 7. Line baking sheet (or 2 if necessary) with parchment paper
  • 8. Form lamb mixture into meatballs (using about 2 tbs of mixture) using your hands
  • 9. Place formed meatballs on parchment-lined pan
  • 10. Bake meatballs for 30-35 minutes
  • 11. Enjoy!