Curried Meatballs with Sesame Cauliflower Rice

Curry Meatballs with Sesame Cauliflower Rice

Curry Meatballs with Sesame Cauliflower Rice

I am a huge fan curries, (as you may have noticed) so this recipe jumped out at me when I saw it in the January, 2016 issue of Bon Appétit. My instinct did me well, because there was an audible gasp when both my husband and I took the first bite of the dish. This recipe has big, bold, smack-you-in-the-face flavours in both the meatballs and the sauce.  There is a lot going on here, so you may want to temper everything with some pillowy naan breads, and a cool yogurt raita. This recipe is perfect for a family dinner or any pot-luck party you may be invited to.  I love to throw theme  parties, so I will make this for my next Indian soirée!

I made one of my favourite new Paleo dishes to accompany the curry, and it was stunning. I have been discovering that cauliflower can be morphed into all sorts of wonders, and a flavourful, non-carb rice is one dish that I have fallen for, head over heels! Now of course, I also adore a fragrant Basmati for non-Paleo meals, so if that is your preference, it would be amazing too! The cauliflower rice is from “The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook”, by Loren Cordain.

I will be hanging out at Angie’s Fiesta Friday tomorrow and will bring over a huge pot of my curry meatballs for the gang. I hope everyone there will love them as much as we did at our place.

Perfect Party Food!

Perfect party food!

Curry Meatballs with Sesame Cauliflower Rice



6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed

6 garlic cloves

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)

1 large egg, beaten

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 teaspoons sea salt

Curry Sauce

¼ cup olive oil

4 medium onions, chopped

10 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

3 dried chiles de arbol

4 teaspoons curry powder

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

3 tablespoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

cilantro leaves for serving



Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Purée green onions, jalapeños, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin and cayenne in a food processor, until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add beef, egg, yogurt and salt. Mix with your hands until mixture is smooth and starts to become very sticky, about 1 minute.

Roll into golf ball-sized balls and place on baking sheet. There should be about 24 meatballs. Bake until browned on top and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.

Curry Sauce:

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in chiles, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander and peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, unitl mixture is very fragrant and spices begin to stick to the pot, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, stirring and scraping the bottom of pot, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 cups water. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, until the flavours have mingled, about 25-30 minutes.

Let the curry sauce cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Wipe out any bits and transfer curry sauce back to pot. Stir in the lemon juice and season with cayenne.

Gently nestle the cooked meatballs into the sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated all the way through, about 10-15 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve over cauliflower rice. Serve with naan bread, and your favourite chutney.

Sesame Cauliflower Rice

Sesame Cauliflower Rice


4 cups chopped cauliflower

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons coconut oil

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper


½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Pulse the chopped cauliflower in a food processor until the pieces are the size of rice grains. Transfer to a medium bowl.

In a large skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until they are golden (about 2 minutes). Add the coconut oil, crushed red pepper, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower rice, a pinch of salt, and cilantro to the skillet; stir. Reduce heat and cook covered for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender. Adjust seasoning. Keep warm until serving time.

Don't forget the naan and raita!

Don’t forget the naan and raita!

43 Responses to “Curried Meatballs with Sesame Cauliflower Rice”

  1. Loretta

    Great minds think alike Juliana (yet again). I think we both posted curries for FF last January too. I posted a curried recipe earlier this week, talking about my love for Indian cuisine too. Your meatballs look just amazing, and the cauli rice is a great idea to cut back on the carbs. I’ve yet to try making it, but it is definitely on my list. Love the dish and the presentation!

    • chefjulianna

      Too funny, Loretta! We are on the same wavelength yet again! Be sure to give the cauliflower rice a try – it really works. Have a great weekend!

    • chefjulianna

      Yes, I am always worried about photographing anything with meat, but I was happy with the pics this time around. Glad you like them! 🙂

  2. Hilda

    I can imagine that was super tasty. I love what you’ve done with the cauliflower. Happy Fiesta Friday!

  3. Elaine @ foodbod

    YUM!!! Love the sauce and the cauliflower rice, I’d happily just have those 🙂 in fact, I’ll be saving that sauce recipe for sure!
    I’ve recently been challenging myself and making my own various curries without using any recipes and just going with my imagination and it’s worked so well, and I’m so chuffed, I find it such an achievement!!

    • chefjulianna

      Good for you Elaine! It is liberating not to have to rely on the cookbook all the time, isn’t it? I do that sometimes too – it is great for the creative juices to flow. 🙂

      • Elaine @ foodbod

        It’s been great, Julianna, and a real leap of faith! I’ve pretty much held my breath as I’ve done it, but the results have been good so far 🙂

  4. Julie is Hostess At Heart

    I was just telling one of my blogging buddies that I want to cook more curries. You’ve made it easy with this beautiful recipe. It’ll warm the bones with all of those spices too! Have a wonderful FF!


    Your curry sounds delicious – all those great flavors! Everyone seems to love curries so I need to start experimenting myself. Love recipes for cauliflower especially when I can substitute it for rice 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Judi, Well this recipe would be a great place to start experimenting with curries! I really think you would love it! And the “rice” is a winner for sure! Have a wonderful week. 😀

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Jhuls! Yes, your recipe sounds so awesome too! There is nothing better than coconut curry! I could live on this for the rest of my life!! Mmmm! Next time be sure to try the cauliflower rice to go with the recipe. You will love it for sure. Have a wonderful week! 😀

  6. Nancy

    Love this recipe, Julianna! The meatballs sound fabulous, but I find the rice most intriguing…yummy. It sounds like the perfect meal for a chilly day. 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Too true, Patty! Sounds like your workplace is like mine! It is always an exchange of recipes and ideas for dishes. Your colleagues would like this one too! 😀

  7. Liz

    I love every sound of this recipe. Lots of ingredients I love and a great curry sauce. I’m going to use the sauce to make some egg curry. Will give you a feedback!!!!

  8. illcookyouwash

    Fantastic! I just bought a Dutch oven so I’ve been hunting for recipes to try. Please tell me that this will work with minced chicken though! 😊

  9. petra08

    Wow, meatballs full of flavour! And I have never through of sesame seeds with cauliflower but why not?! Brilliant as always 🙂

  10. laurasmess

    I’ve been meaning to try cauliflower rice for a long time, it sounds delicious (and not just because it’s paleo). Also love the fact that with cauli rice, you can have naan breads on the side without needing to have two lots of carbs! Great recipe 🙂

  11. Joanne Finnamore

    Hey Julianna, what delicious curry! I doubled the recipe and it took awhile to prep with all the chopping. ( I would use processor next time especially with onions). However it was worth it!! Family raved about it, this is a keeper! Thank you!


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