Marks Daily Apple
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26 Jul

Lamb Meatballs in Coconut Fenugreek Sauce

Meatballs1Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.

Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.

In this recipe, dried fenugreek is simmered in coconut milk with tomatoes, garlic and ginger and poured over cumin and coriander spiked lamb. Even with all those different spices and seasonings going on, the overall flavor is fairly subtle and comforting and will make your house smell really good.

DriedFenugreek

The easiest place to find dried fenugreek leaves (also labeled as kasuri methi) is in Indian grocery stores. It can also be bought from online spice shops.

Servings: 2 to 3

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour

Ingredients:

ingredients 40

Lamb Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground lamb (450 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (4 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (2.5 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (30 ml)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
  • 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, finely chopped (2.5 cm)

Coconut Fenugreek Sauce:

  • 1 cup diced tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (30 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (10 ml)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 °F/220 °C.

In a large bowl mix together lamb, egg, salt, cumin, coriander, cilantro and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Form into about 12 golf ball sized balls. The meatballs will be loose, not tightly packed, which is fine.

Heat a skillet over medium-high with the coconut oil. Add the meatballs, browning on all sides, then transfer to a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until barely pink in the middle and around 160 °F/70 °C.

Step1 23

In the same skillet the meatballs were just in, sauté the ginger and remaining garlic, just until lightly browned.

Add the tomato and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

Step2 23

Add coconut milk, fenugreek leaves and lime juice. Bring to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Salt to taste.

Step3 12

Serve meatballs and fenugreek sauce over cauliflower rice or sautéed greens.

Meatballs2

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Have some Cappello’s lasagna noodles in the freezer that I’ve been meaning to use. Might have to convert this recipe!

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on July 26th, 2014
  2. I like the fenugreek seeds. They make an interesting tea and you can (of course) just add them to dishes. I haven’t tried using the dried green portions but this looks like it’s worth trying.

    Tyrannocaster wrote on July 26th, 2014
  3. I’ve been using more ground lamb recently and would love to try this. Thanks!

    Michele wrote on July 26th, 2014
  4. Sounds great! I like lamb. Even with rice for breakfast. Weird, huh?

    j wrote on July 26th, 2014
  5. Sounds great looking forward to trying this. Could streatch it with broth to make a soup too.

    Firefly 88 wrote on July 26th, 2014
  6. Just out of curiosity, is there anybody else who doesn’t think that cauliflower works at all as a rice or potato substitute? And I actually like it just to eat. But I’ve tried the “rice” and “mashed potatoes” and GACK. Man, that stuff got hit with an awful stick!

    Tyrannocaster wrote on July 27th, 2014
    • I’ve loved it as rice from the very first time I tried it. “Mashed potatoes” were awful the first time. After months and months, I gave it a second try. Turns out, for my own taste, I needed to steam about 5 *large* cloves of garlic with the cauliflower and use a liberal amount of salt to get the right flavor. Oh, and a bit of sour cream along with the butter.

      Jill wrote on July 28th, 2014
    • Yes cauliflower works fantastic, but you have to practice how you prepare it. I think it works best pulsed in a food processor, mixed with herbs that compliment the dish (for this one i added in cilantro, cumin, salt & pepper) and then microwave it for 8 minutes (glass dish (pyrex) with lid slightly off) let it rest for a few minutes then scoop a half cup on the plate and pour the sauce over… very yummy.
      For meat/potato dishes I use a cauliflower with celery root, add rosemary and beef broth…and cream/butter/sour cream on top … yum :)

      Mary wrote on July 28th, 2014
    • Totally with you – cauliflower rice does not work!

      Karen wrote on July 29th, 2014
      • Thanks – it’s a relief to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

        Tyrannocaster wrote on July 29th, 2014
  7. Made this for dinner tonight, and it really tasted great. For anyone else wanting to make this, the recipe should be corrected: The Ginger goes in the sauce ingredients, not the meatballs. Half of the garlic listed for the meatballs also goes in the sauce. I used mutton for this that I ground myself, and added some ground chicken gizzards and an egg to the meat mixture. All held together nicely and made a very tasty meatball.

    JohnM wrote on July 27th, 2014
  8. Looks amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

    Randy wrote on July 28th, 2014
  9. Now I really wish I’d made it to the farmer’s market this weekend for some pastured lamb. This sounds amazing!!

    Jill wrote on July 28th, 2014
  10. Dried fenugreek leaves are a ‘must’ in a spinach curry to make it taste like the restaurant ones.

    I like fenugreek but does anyone else find that their sweat smells strongly of fenugreek a couple of days after eating it? Happens to me with both dried leaves and seeds.

    Pineneedles wrote on July 28th, 2014
    • Some cultures use fenugreek tea to cleanse away the “sluge” (not sure if I’m spelling it right) inside their bodies, like an internal bath, so smelling it in your sweat would be understandable. The article I read did mention a slight odor of fenugreek after drinking the tea on a regular basis. I use the seeds to make tea. I like to add the seeds to various teas, especially holy basil. After I drink the tea, the seeds are usually soft enough to eat. I enjoy the crunchy, softened seeds as much as the tea. I wonder if the softened seeds would be good in the sauce, I’ll have to give it a try.

      RetiredTeacherNowRancher wrote on November 27th, 2014
  11. Thanks Mark,
    This is a yummy dish, I made it tonight. My sauce did not seem to thicken up, (I did use fat coconut milk) so I ended up adding in 2 TBS. of almond flour, and that did the trick.

    I could not find leaves of fenugreek, and used 2 TBS. of fenugreek seeds, and it was still very nice. This one is a keeper. Nice “marrying” of flavors.
    Thanks,
    Mary

    Mary wrote on July 28th, 2014
  12. Can you sub in the fenugreek leaves for ground fenugreek seeds? I have a small jar of it that I found at our local Penzey’s Spices. If so, what amount? Would love to try this recipe!

    Kim wrote on July 28th, 2014
  13. So I butchered the recipe but it still came out great. I was in a hurry so I just read the list of ingredients for the meatballs and added it all in. Coconut oil and all! Lol. Then I realized something didn’t seem right so I read the whole things and realized I put too much garlic in and the coconut oil was for the browning of the meatballs.
    Oh well – you can never have too much garlic!

    I went to my local Indian Spice market and picked up a huge bag (only size) of dried fenugreek for like $4. It’s so aromatic, I love it! Then went to my local Fresh Market and they didn’t have any ground lamb so I bought some grass fed beef instead.

    Overall verdict – using beef instead of lamb – EXCELLENT! I can’t wait to eat leftovers tonight.

    Julian wrote on July 30th, 2014
  14. …just a question. Is the temperature for the meatballs in the oven right, 70 degrees celsius??

    Marlla wrote on July 30th, 2014
  15. I had this last night for my dinner… holy cow it was good! This is definitely being one of my staples.

    Nikki wrote on August 6th, 2014
  16. Seems like I am finding about new herbs every day now that I am eating and loving. When I was younger I think my taste buds were not at the level they are now because of all the sugar I was eating at the time, now I feel like I can actually taste the flavors in things. I lived in Astoria, Queens for awhile which has the largest Greek population outside of Greece so these meatballs are right up my ally. If you ever go to NYC and love this type of food shoot right across the river and go to this town, you will not regret it.

    Thomas Lartin wrote on August 15th, 2014
  17. Amazing. Such a simple sauce, but the fenugreek transforms it into something magical. Leftover sauce would make a great poaching liquid for cod or grouper. I misread the recipe and put the ginger in the meatballs, but it still rocked. I used leftover sautéed kale for the base with roasted cauliflower on the side, because I do not dig cauliflower rice.

    A request for everyone: Can you wait until AFTER you’ve tried a recipe to comment on it? Frankly, I don’t care whether a recipe looks good to you unless you’ve tried to make it.

    CincySteve wrote on November 11th, 2014

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