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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.