Recipe courtesy of Carla Hall

Meatballs with Jamaican-Style Curry

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (18 meatballs)
This recipe pays homage to the African diaspora, drawing on the flavors introduced by the spice trade in the Caribbean Islands. With a nod to India, spices are combined to make a homemade curry powder, which adds lots of warmth and depth to the coconut sauce. Feel free to adjust the spice amounts to your liking. For additional heat, a diced Scotch bonnet chile is traditionally used, but jalapeño chile can be substituted. Sesame oil is used to enhance the umami flavors in substitution of local island herbs.


Curry Powder:


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon garlic, the egg, 1 tablespoon Curry Powder, the sesame oil and 1 teaspoon salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the beef, pork, jalapeno and scallions, then stir in the ginger-garlic mixture until well combined.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Check the meatball mixture for seasoning by taking a small amount and cooking a tester patty. Taste and adjust the remaining meatball mixture with more salt if necessary. 
  3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons vegetable oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Form the beef mixture into 18 meatballs, about 2 tablespoons each. Arrange onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake the meatballs, shaking the pan halfway through, until crispy on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.  
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the thyme, the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and 2 teaspoons Curry Powder. Cook until aromatic, 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over medium-low and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook until heated through. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Curry Powder:

  1. Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Makes about 1/4 cup.