Goan meatball curry is a very simple recipe. It is traditionally made using ground beef. I have used ground chicken instead as my husband does not do too well with beef. This recipe is not a common occurrences in Goa and you may not find it on restaurant menus. I have seen a few variation online but I am sharing my Tiazinha’s(aunty in portuguese) recipe. God Bless her soul. It’s been 17 years since she went to be with the Lord. She was a great cook, a violinist in the local orchestra, Linguist and sewed vestments for the local priest. She was very strict and was very involved in our upbringing as my parents were full-time working parents. So I dedicate this post to my loving Titi.
Here is Titi’s pictures that I took from an old album when I went down to Goa this January for my dad’s funeral. I just wanted to carry the memories with me back to the US.
For an American the most popular meatball recipe is the Italian Meatball Recipe where cheese, bread crumbs and tomatoes are the main ingredients. The goan version has a hint of spices, ginger, garlic, vinegar. If ground beef is used then skip the bread.
Jeerem-Meerem (cumin spice mix/masala in konkani) is an everyday spice mix for meats and fish in Goa. By adding fresh ginger, garlic and grinding it in vinegar makes a wet paste. Coconut vinegar plays a very important role in Goan cooking specially for meats and fish. You can make it dry and store it in an airtight container for couple of months in a cool dry place or the freezer. This recipe should yield about 2 tsp of mix which can be used with 2-2.5 lbs of meat.
Yields: 2 tsp of spice mix
1 tsp of cumin powder
3/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp of red chilli powder
1/8 tsp of black pepper
1/8th tsp of cloves powder
Mix it together and store in a dry spice bottle
Serving Size: 12 meatballs
1 lbs of ground beef or chicken or turkey
1 medium onion chopped finely
4-6 garlic cloves grated
1″ grated ginger
1 slice bread
1 beaten egg
10 sprigs of fresh cilantro chopped
1.5 tsp of jeerem-meerem spice mix
1 tsp of vinegar
1/4 tsp of sugar
2 cups of water
1 tomato chopped finely
Salt to taste
In a bowl mix the ground meat/mince with 1/2 the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, bread, egg, cilantro, salt and spice mix. Make 12 balls.
(With ground chicken if you find it hard to shape the balls use a spoon to shape and drop them into gravy)
In a heated pot saute the remaining onion till soft. Next add the tomatoes and jeerem-meerem, vinegar, sugar and saute for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell of vinegar is gone. Add the water, season with salt and bring the gravy to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook covered on medium heat for 25-30 minutes while checking and stirring occasionally.
I made a variation by stuffing a few of my meatballs with couple pieces of my Goan Sausage Meat for an extra kick in flavor. Enjoy it with rice or with a side of vegetables.