Garam Masala Meatballs ~ Mamna

October 17, 2011

In high school, I went to visit my family in India every summer.  One of my fondest memories of those visits was a small barbecue that my cousins would throw as a going away party for when I would inevitably have to leave.  We always had a variety of meat dishes, but my favorite dish was always the meatballs.  They were spicy and delicious.  The rich goat meat was threaded onto skewers and roasted over the charcoal until fully cooked.  We then would pull the meatballs off the skewers and eat them hot with lots of lime and fresh onion.

Making the Meatballs

This recipe is one my grandmother’s, my father’s mother, but it is my mom who made this most frequently at home.  She and my dad have an incredible book of my grandmother’s recipes in a small notebook that my grandmother had compiled for them shortly after they were married and moved to the states.  It is an absolute treasure of recipes and this is one of the recipes from that book.  The meatballs are delicious and very simple to make.  The best meat to use, is of course, goat, but lamb, or beef (as I used) will do just fine.  The most important thing about these meatballs is to eat them hot and with lots of lime and fresh onion.  The flavors definitely transported me back to a rooftop in my city in India and brought back wonderful memories!

Garam Masala Meatballs

Garam Masala Meatballs ~ Mamna

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: serves 4Total:

Wonderfully spicy meatballs made with plenty of spices and my great-great grandmothers garam masala.

You'll Need...

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds coarsely ground goat, lamb, or beef
  • 2 small-medium yellow onions
  • 1 heaping tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 heaping tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 heaping tsp. crushed serrano chilis
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg

  • To serve:
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Mince the onions finely, or chop finely in a food processor.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Form the meat into small golfball sized balls.  Cook the meatballs for a few minutes on each side.  The meatballs should still be soft, but should be fully cooked on the inside.
  3. I suggest making one meatball to try first and adjust for salt and spiciness.  Then proceed with the rest.
  4. Serve with plenty of lime and sliced onions.  Enjoy!


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  • Reply Suresh October 17, 2011 at 3:02 am

    I can literally smell the appetizing aroma!

  • Reply Damayanti October 17, 2011 at 3:12 am

    It visualized the floor of our kitchen at 622. Bhaiya and Benjibhai running around and waiting for them.

  • Reply Udai October 17, 2011 at 3:41 am

    Yum! Yesterday I made these using ground turkey… these are certainly better with lamb, goat or beef.

  • Reply October 17, 2011 at 3:44 am

    @ Dad: I'm glad you smelled them for me! That reassured me that I had added not only enough spices, but also enough salt!

    @ Mom: I bet they used to be able to eat hundreds of these!

    @ Udaimama: Ooh, I bet turkey would be quite good too! And definitely more healthful than the goat, lamb, or beef….

  • Reply Kshama October 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Thank goodness the Lion didn't eat them all, they were delicious!

  • Reply Divya Yadava October 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I love meatballs – it's the perfect comfort food especially in the fall.

    I've never tried making them without breadcrumbs – do they come out the same without?

  • Reply October 18, 2011 at 3:58 am

    @Kshama aunty: Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!

    @Divya: These come out quite well without the breadcrumbs. The texture remains soft, but fully cooked and they don't fall apart. I think the egg helps them stay together properly. I suppose you could add breadcrumbs if you wanted to as long as they are unseasoned, but I find that these work really well the way they are!

  • Reply kankana October 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    That is a flavorful meatball. I am going to try it and then make a sandwich with it.. yummy!

  • Reply October 19, 2011 at 1:45 am

    @Kankana: That would be a DELICIOUS sandwich! Yum yum. Great idea!

  • Reply Medifast Coupons October 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Yum Yum!

  • Reply October 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    @ Medifast: Thanks!

  • Reply Matt @ FaveDiets October 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    This looks delicious! I would love if you shared it in my Fall Food Blog Hop. Enter it for a chance at a Top Chef cookbook!

  • Reply October 22, 2011 at 3:57 am

    @Matt: Thanks! I'll check out your Fall Food Blog Hop now!

  • Reply Reese@Seasonwithspice November 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Enjoy the meatballs with lots of lime – I like that! It's so sweet that your grandmother compiled all the recipes for your parents. Such invaluable treasure that she has passed down to the family. Your grandmother must be so proud that you're now using her recipes at your own kitchen.

  • Reply November 4, 2011 at 12:48 am

    @Reese: The lime is such a crucial part of the dish! They make the meatballs infinitely more delicious (and they already are amazingly delicious). I am so glad that my grandmother made a recipe book for my parents, it really is an amazing resource as she is no longer with us today. I like to think that I have a part of her in me, helping me to recreate her beautiful recipes!

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