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Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/4 of a large red onion, chopped small
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (1 cup)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatballs. Use your hands to mix it until it is just combined—don’t overdo it or the meat will get tough.
  3. Shape the meat into balls that are a little smaller than a golf ball. (Or any size, really, as long as they are uniform. Adjust baking times if you change the size.)
  4. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, or until they are browned on the bottoms.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and set aside.
  6. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Add the bowl of spices and cook for another minute.
  7. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  8. You can add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, or spoon the sauce over each individual serving. Serve this with naan and jasmine or basmati rice. (About 2 cups of uncooked rice will be enough.)