Tandoori Meatballs with Cilantro Raita

  • Yield : 8 servings (about 32 meatballs)
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 20m
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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing baking sheet
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Bibb or green leaf lettuce, torn into 4-inch pieces, for serving
  • 1/4 cup finely grated cucumber, for garnish


Step 1

Cook's Note: If tamarind chutney is unavailable, you can substitute apple butter with a bit of lemon juice and cayenne stirred in.

Step 2

1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, the curry powder and two-thirds of the garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool.

Step 3

2. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Add the beef, 1/4 cup of the yogurt, the breadcrumbs, tamarind chutney, paprika, cayenne , if using, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and the eggs to the onion mixture. Combine the ingredients using your hands. Form into 1 1/4- inch balls, rolling them lightly between your hands to shape. Place on the oiled baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Step 4

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the meatballs until browned, about 20 minutes.

Step 5

4. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining 3/4 cup yogurt, remaining garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cilantro in a small bowl. Arrange each meatball on top of a piece of lettuce on a platter. Top with grated cucumber and a bit of tamarind chutney and serve with the yogurt dipping sauce.

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