My first real experience with Indian food was during college on a visit to New York, and one of many dishes we ordered was the chicken korma. Being a total spice wimp, much to the disappointment of my family and friends, this korma was my absolute favorite because it had all the depth and richness expected of Indian food with none of the intense heat that I just can’t handle. Warm yellow curry flavors in a creamy sauce, this korma heated me up from the inside out that cold January night. Though it was a divey hole in the wall place that probably only had adequate Indian food in hindsight, chicken korma is still my go to dish on any Indian menu, and it was about dang time I made it at home in a Paleo way. Enter my chicken korma meatballs.
When thinking how to best approach this dish, given my complete lack of background in Indian cooking, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. There ARE a lot of spices in this dish, but I tried to streamline them as much as possible without sacrificing the flavors. Trust me when I say they are worth it, and they may just inspire you to try more dishes in the future! About one third to half of them are likely pantry staples, and if you don’t have the others, check the bulk spice bins at your local grocer if you aren’t keen to buy a whole jar.
I tested these meatballs two ways – one with a pre-made madras curry blend, and another with all the spices individually. I’m happy to report the easy-peasy madras meatballs were my favorite, so I’ve selected that version here (you can see in the prepped meatballs below that the ones on the right look a bit different. These are the easy one!). Alas, you still need some of the individual spices for the korma sauce, but again, it’s worth it, and the dish is pretty easy to make overall. However, 5 ingredient and 15 minute meal this is not. Get cozy with it on a Sunday afternoon and this chicken meatball korma will make the perfect Sunday evening meal with tons of leftovers. All in, it’s about an hour of effort for a rich, flavorful reward.Print
This chicken meatball korma is creamy, warm with the depth of spices, and perfect for your meal prep.
- 2 pounds ground chicken thigh meat
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder for the meatballs, plus additional tablespoon for the sauce (3 total)
- 3 Tablespoons ghee
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 6 oz coconut milk or cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (omit for whole30)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Slivered almonds and cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the meat, 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, the 2 eggs, almond flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Using a small 1 inch ice cream scooper or your hands (I find wet hands help keep the sticky meatball paste from getting stuck on your hands) form the meatballs, You should get about 40 1-inch meatballs from this meat. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a deep and heavy bottomed pan (I like a dutch oven), heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee on medium high heat. In batches, brown the meatballs on all sides. Return to the baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until done inside.
- While meatballs heat in the oven, add the last tablespoon of the ghee to the crusty pan where you just sauteed the meatballs (don’t dump out the pan. These crispy bits will help build flavor!). Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and saute for about 4 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic, the remaining tablespoon of Madras curry powder, and the ground cumin, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric and pinch of cinnamon and mix to combine. Let it get toasty for about 45 seconds to 1 minute
- Add the broth and make sure to scrape up all the crusty bits from the sides of the pan. Even if they look dark and you are afraid that this might taste burned, this is all deep rich spicy flavor that we don’t want to lose. Once those are loose, transfer this mixture to a blender
- Add the cashews, coconut milk or cream and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Return to the pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and coconut sugar and bring up to temperature (simmering)
- Serve over cauliflower rice (or starch of your choosing!). Garnish with almonds and parsley or cilantro
Keywords: korma, meatballs, paleo, whole30, takeout fakeout
- 24 oz (two bags frozen or 6 cups home made) cauliflower rice
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Melt the ghee in a large pan
- Add the cumin and toast for about 2 minutes
- Add the cauliflower rice and unfreeze if using frozen (break apart with a wooden spoon as it heats up)
- Add the broth and stir to combine
- Cover the pan and cook and steam for 5-8 minutes until soft