Thursday, January 08, 2015

Turmeric Turkey Meatballs: The Anti-cancer Comfort Food

Golden, glistening, savory curry meatballs
Note: This ORIGINAL recipe has been selected for publication in the Lehman's Diamond Jubilee Cookbook

Comfort food doesn't always have to be something familiar. How about turkey curry meatballs in a warm, creamy curry sauce? Not even real curry, curry-flavored. Savory, sumptuous--like Swedish meatballs, only kicked up a notch with lots of warming curry spices and especially the magically anti-cancer turmeric. (If you are looking for more anti-cancer turmeric recipes, look here.)


Making the Meatballs
  • 2  pounds lean ground turkey (or beef, chicken, lamb, etc.)
  • 1  egg, lightly beaten
  • 4  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
Mix the meatball ingredients together until well blended. Form into ping-pong ball sized meatballs, and fry in a nonstick or seasoned iron skillet with enough olive or other vegetable oil to make sauteing easy (1 to 2 tablespoons). Fry about 1/3 of the meatballs at a time, without crowding, turning until meatballs are almost cooked through but still pink inside. Set aside and continue frying the rest of the meatballs. Don't fuss too much--the meatballs need not be perfectly round (mine flatten out a bit while frying).

Curry Gravy
I call this curry gravy instead of curry sauce, because real curry sauce is based on an onion-ginger-ghee slurry that is sauteed. This is instead a curry-flavored white sauce--a delicious savory sauce you might want to use for other things--to top veggies, for instance (broccoli or asparagus are particularly good with curry gravy). (I explain how to make curry sauce here.)

1/4 cup butter (four tablespoons or half a stick)
1/4 cup white flour
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half 'n half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 to 2 tablespoons ground turmeric (to taste)

In the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan, whisk the butter and the flour over medium heat until the flour lumps disappear (making a roux). Add in the other ingredients, whisking constantly until the gravy thickens and all ingredients are fully integrated.

Curry Meatball Synergy
Add the meatballs gently into the still bubbling gravy in the large heavy saucepan. Let boil gently for about 10 minutes, tossing gently to make sure all meatballs get enough sauce to cover and cook them through (the meat juices will also flavor the gravy beautifully).

Serve over steamed jasmine or basmati rice, and serve with lightly sauteed green vegetables that you can also ladle the curry gravy over (makes it easy--no need to season the veggies!).

Notes:
  • Serves 6 (1/3 pound each) to 8 (1/4 pound each)
  • This dish is the perfect party food--you will be a major sensation and have your handiwork devoured if you bring this to a potluck

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