hot hot heat

There is nothing quite like a spicy meal on a snowy night. This meal is something that has hit the spot both times I’ve made it.  Served with brown rice and made with white meat turkey, it feels not only incredibly satisfying but very healthful. Tikka Masala Meatballs aren’t the most photogenic meal, but they are an amazing flavor combination. Hot, spiced, a bit of sweet from the coconut milk, and completely comforting.

These meatballs are surprising on many levels. Even while using oats and white meat turkey, they come out incredibly tender. Broiling the meatballs is a hands off, grease-free affair. They are a great reminder of how fabulous meatballs are, whether classic Italian or fusion Asian. And by using the food processor, the entire recipe becomes a fairly quick and easy preparation on all accords.

One last highlight of this recipe? It’s totally flexible, and highly preservation-friendly. Since I didn’t have tomato paste, I threw a few tablespoons of tomato jam from a jar just opened. Same thing with peppers – I didn’t have a fresh pepper so I minced up a few unfancy pickled jalapeño slices.

Tikka Masala Meatballs
Thanks to Big Girls, Small Kitchen and .


  • 1 pound ground white meat turkey
  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger root
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste, ketchup or tomato jam
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Masala Sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable or other neutral oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • For the Meatballs:
    Preheat your broiler on high.
    Place the oats into your food processor and pulse until finely ground. Empty into a small bowl. Put the quartered onion, garlic cloves, ginger and cilantro into the food processor and pulse until finely minced. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Using a scooper or your hands, make small to medium meatballs. You should get around 50 meatballs. Broil the meatballs for 10 minutes.

    For the Masala Sauce:
    Place the quartered onion, garlic, ginger and pepper into the food processor. Pulse unitl you have a large mince.

    Heat the oil on high in a large skillet until smoking. Add the mustard seeds and cover. When the seeds stop popping, around 15 seconds, turn the heat to medium-low and add the food processor ingredients. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is golden. Add the cumin, coriander, and red pepper and cook for a minute or two, toasting the spices.

    Add the crushed tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, reducing the mixture. Once it reaches a paste-like consistency, add the salt, sugar, coconut milk powder and milk. Whisk until smooth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on low. Add the meatballs and the cilantro to the sauce and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

    Serve with white or brown rice, bread or carbohydrate of your choice.

About nomnivorous

A food enthusiast who cooks, bakes and eats it all... And if it happens to be cute, it's even more likely to be eaten by this nomnivore!
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2 Responses to hot hot heat

  1. Marisa says:

    Yay! I used some of my unfancy jalapenos last night as well, in a turkey crumbles for taco salad. And don’t you just love how that tomato jam just keeps showing up to be handy!

    • nomnivorous says:

      Both items are so incredibly versatile. Shocked at how handy the peppers are, I’m going to have to can a lot more next year. And the tomato jam is a great condiment. I love being able to use up fridge contents like these!


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