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November 20, 2019

American Lamb Meatballs in Fragrant Indian Curry Sauce


Recipe Provided By
Andrea Slonecker
Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

35 min

Total Time

50 min



American Lamb Meatballs in Fragrant Indian Curry Sauce


  • 1 pound ground American Lamb
  • 3/4 cup grated paneer cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint, divided, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium chile powder, such as Indian Kashmiri or New Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • Steamed basmati rice
  • Chopped toasted almonds


Preheat broiler with a rack positioned about 4 inches from the heating element. 

In a large bowl, mix together American Lamb, paneer, half of the mint, bread crumbs, egg, 1 tablespoon garlic, ginger, 2 teaspoons garam masala and 1 teaspoon salt. Roll the mixture into 16 meatballs. Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil meatballs, turning occasionally, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. 

Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste and chili powder; cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, turmeric and cumin; cook, stirring often, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt; stir to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add meatballs and bring to a simmer; cook at a gentle simmer until sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in remaining mint and garam masala.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over rice with more mint and almonds to garnish.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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