Indian Spiced Meatballs with Pasta

Posted 31 August 2013 by

I’ve been loving the new series of Celebrity Masterchef, and in one episode recently, John Torrode made these Indian spiced meatballs with pasta for the palate test. The contestants had to work out what the ingredients were, and then recreate the dish. I thought it looked pretty tasty, and luckily, the recipe (“Pappardelle with curried meatballs”) was on the BBC Food website.

Indian Spiced Meatballs with Pasta

I really enjoyed this dish. The combination of spices is absolutely delicious, but not too hot. I must admit, I found the lime pickle a little unusual, not having tasted it before, but it definitely added something. I decided not to make my own pasta and I couldn’t get hold of pappardelle, so I used tagliatelle, and I used turkey mince in place of the chicken. If you don’t have a small food processor capable of grinding the spices, you could obviously use ground spices, although I guess they wouldn’t be quite so flavoursome.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cooking salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 100g/3½oz white breadcrumbs
  • 50ml/2fl oz milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chicken mince
  • 200ml/7fl oz double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tsp lime pickle

Fry the cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and salt in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until toasted. The spices then need to be ground in a food processor, then mixed/ground in a pestle and mortar with the turmeric.

Toasting Spices for Indian Meatballs

Heat 3 tbsp of oil and gently fry the onions with the spices and black pepper until the onions are soft.

Frying Onions and Spices for Meatballs

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. Chop the fresh herbs, and combine with the breadcrumbs, onions, spices and meat in a large bowl. Shape into meatballs. (The recipe says 20, it doesn’t really matter as long as the number is divisible by 4!)

Indian Spiced Meatballs Uncooked

Start cooking the pasta in a large pan of boiling water.

Heat some more oil in the frying pan and cook the meatballs on both sides, for about 5–8 minutes total (until cooked through). Add cream and lime pickle to taste. Drain the pasta and stir into the meatballs and sauce.

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