Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Post: Spicy Tandoori Meatballs & Cooling Yogurt Sauce

Hi, everyone! I’m so thrilled to be guest posting on Stephanie’s blog today! We recently started following each other’s blogs, and it’s been SO nice getting to know a fellow San Antonio food blogger!! I love Stephanie’s recipes, and her beautiful pictures always make me drool. The recipe I’m sharing today is Spicy Tandoori Meatballs & Cooling Yogurt Sauce. Meatballs are evidently one of the current hot food trends. That may be partly due to The Meatball Shop, a New York restaurant that specializes in a wide variety of tasty meatballs. It’s been on my list of restaurants to try for our past two trips to New York, but we never made it by. Fortunately, The Meatball Shop Cookbook just came out...I bought it a couple of weeks ago. Until I can make it there to eat in person, for now I can now make their delicious meatballs right here in Texas. After flipping through the cookbook, this was the first recipe that I decided to try.

These unique meatballs are flavored with a robust, earthy seasoning blend and roasted the oven. I opted to use ground turkey in place of lamb since that's what I had on hand, and I added some finely diced red onion to the meatball mixture. I also added granulated garlic and reduced the amount of cayenne pepper in the spicy seasoning blend. While the meatballs roast in the oven, you have a pocket of time to make the delicious cooling yogurt sauce that accompanies them. These meatballs are super-spicy – even with a reduced amount of cayenne, so this sauce is a must to serve on the side in my opinion! I opted to serve the meatballs as a mezze plate for dinner…I served four meatballs on a plate, along with toasted pita triangles, the yogurt sauce, lettuce topped with feta and zatar seasoning, and some hummus.

Spicy Tandoori Meatballs & Cooling Yogurt Sauce
adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook


Step 1:  Preheat oven to 425. Make the spice blend by combining the following ingredients in a small bowl: 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, and ½ tsp. cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and set aside while you assemble the rest of the meatball ingredients.



Step 2: Make the meatballs by combining the following ingredients in a large bowl: 1 lb. ground turkey (preferably 85/15), 1 large egg, 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup finely diced red onion, the juice of one small lemon, and the reserved spice mixture. Use clean hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Roll the mixture into golfball-sized meatballs, and place them nearly touching in an 8x8 pan. You should end up with about 18 meatballs. Roast the meatballs for approximately 20 minutes, until they are cooked through and browned.



Step 3: While the meatballs roast, make the yogurt sauce. Add the following ingredients to a small bowl: 1 container plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbs. finely diced purple onion, 1 tbs. finely chopped cilantro, 2 tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and the zest of the lemon used in the meatball mixture. Whisk well to combine and put in the fridge while the meatballs roast. When the meatballs come out of the oven, let them cool for about 5 minutes.



Step 4: Assemble the mezze plates. Place four meatballs on a plate. Then, add toasted pita triangles, some of the yogurt sauce, hummus, and lettuce topped with feta cheese and zatar seasoning around the plate. To eat, you can make little pita-meatball bites or eat the meatballs with a fork and enjoy the pita triangles with the dipping sauces. Just have fun with it!


We really enjoyed these Indian-inspired meatballs…the exotic spices were different from the seasonings that I use on a day-to-day basis, but that's part of the fun of cooking! But beware…even reducing the cayenne in half, these meatballs are still REALLY spicy!! If you don’t like super-spicy foods, I recommend further reducing the amount of cayenne to ¼ tsp. FYI…I’m not a huge cilantro fan, so I significantly reduced the amount I used in both the meatballs and the sauce. Feel free to add up to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro to the meatballs AND up to 1/4 cup to the yogurt sauce. I personally find that a little cilantro goes a long way and that too much can overpower…but I realize that some people really love the flavor and might want a stronger cilantro presence in this recipe. The next time you’re looking for something just a little different for dinner, I hope you’ll give these delicious meatballs a try. They’re simple enough to make on a weeknight, but fancy enough to serve to (adventurous) guests!

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I just wanted to say a huge, "Thank you" to  Wendy @ Wendy Weekend Gourmet for her guest post this week. I really enjoy reading her blog and I'm so glad I recently discovered it. The past couple of days have been difficult for me since I lost a dear, loved one. Wendy was kind enough to offer to write this post when I did not have it in me to write about food. Never underestimate the ability food has to bring people together. 

18 comments:

  1. I never would've thought about Tandoori Meatballs, but those look incredible. And I love your recipe for yogurt sauce! What an original recipe - I love it!

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    1. Ally - Don't they sound good? I love all the spices she included in her recipe. The yogurt sauce looks amazing as well:)

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  2. Thanks for your kind words, sweet Stephanie! Looking forward to meeting you in person this Saturday! I'm not kidding when I say these meatballs are SPICY...we love spicy food, and these were just on the edge of being too spicy for me. Hubby LOVED them and said they were perfectly spiced for him. The zatar seasoning came with the pita, which I get at Pasha here in SA.

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    1. I can handle a little heat. I guess I'm some what use to it living in South Texas:) Pasha has wonderful Pita bread. I haven't been there in a long time. Looking forward to meeting you too:)

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  3. Fabulous post, Wendy and Stephanie! These meatballs look fantastic. Great recipe!

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    1. Thank you Georgia. I appreciate you stopping by.

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  4. Thanks ladies, for a fabulous GUEST POST! Wendy, I forgot to tell you that I stopped by, VIA-foodbuzz...buzzed you!
    The recipe is incredible, love the zatar sauce too. Will have to get some zatar spice from our Middle Eastern market. Also love that you made it with light turkey meat instead of lamb.
    Bookmarking to get the recipe, later. Thanks Steph for having our sweet Wendy over at your blog. Will check out your blog, now:DDD

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    1. I thought that using Turkey instead of lamb was a wonderful idea. The recipe sounds healthy and delicious! Glad to meet Wendy's fabulous followers:)

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  5. yay for two of my favorite san antonio bloggers! these meatballs look divine. + steph, i'm so sorry to hear that you lost someone dear to you. i'm keeping you in my thoughts.

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    1. Thank you sweet Amy. Must be a Southern thing, but we gathered together around the kitchen table and ate together after the service. Family is a BLESSING!

      The meatballs do look fabulous. I'm planning on making them soon:)

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  6. Hello! I am a big fan of Wendy's blog, so I had to come over and check out your blog also! I am your newest follower!! Great recipe girls!

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    1. Welcome Tracy. Wendy did a great job with her guest post. I actually found her blog when she was featured in the local Sunday paper. Great to meet another food blogger from your hometown:)

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  7. Wendy,
    Great job on your first guest post. I love the Tandoori meatballs made with the ground turkey.

    Stephanie,
    Nice to meet you. Thank you for having my blogger Friend, Wendy as your Guest Blogger.

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    1. Thank you Becky. It was my pleasure. I'm so glad to have her post her fabulous recipe on my blog.

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  8. Yum! Adding this to my list of Things To Make Soon. :)

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  9. Oops, didn't mean to post that as Anonymous. :D

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  10. That's sweet that Wendy offered to help you out. It's so true that food comforts in many ways... I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced the loss of a loved one. My sincerest condolences to you.

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    1. I really appreciate it Cat. Food is good for the soul:)

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