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+ servings

Butter Chicken Meatballs

A light and fresh take on butter chicken with tender and juicy meatballs slathered in rich aromatic creamy sauce. Not too spicy, and made without store-bought pastes, these meatballs will melt in your mouth.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 410kcal
Author Kim



  • 500 grams (1 pound) Chicken Mince/Ground Chicken
  • ¾ cup Instant or Minute Brown Rice Do not microwave
  • ¼ cup Corriander/Cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli diced
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon each Salt and pepper

Curry Sauce

  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander root and stem finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli diced
  • 3 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 4 sprigs of Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 1 can 410 grams/7 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • I/2 cup Tap water
  • 1 cup Coconut cream

To Serve

  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Extra curry leaves lightly dry fried in a pan
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream drizzled on top


Get the Meatballs Ready

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix ingredients together, making sure the mixture is well combined. Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to shape meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking tray lined with baking paper/parchment paper and pop into fridge while you get the sauce started.

Make the Sauce

  • Heat butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add cumin and mustard seeds and cook for one minute until fragrant.
  • Add in curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds. (They may “pop” or “squeak” a little but this is normal)
  • Add onion and cook until it starts to soften (2 – 3 minutes), then add the ginger and garlic, chilli, turmeric and garam masala. Mix together until a paste is formed (around 1 minute)
  • Pour in crushed tomatoes and water, stirring through to loosen paste. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium. Gently add meatballs into the sauce, making sure they are covered on top with a little sauce. Put lid on and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir coconut cream through the curry sauce. Add lid back on and cook for another 6 minutes.

Frying curry leaves

  • Add 2 or 3 springs of curry leaves (stems removed) to a pan on high heat no oil needed) cook for a minutes or two until leaves become firm and glossy


  • Add rice to bowl, and divide meatballs across 4 bowls. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of coconut cream over each set of meatballs, and garnish each with fried curry leaves


  1. Meatballs: you can make the meatballs a day ahead and store them in the fridge until you need them
  2. Chicken:  Using chicken mince or ground chicken is what you will need for this recipe to create tasty moist meatballs.  Alternatively you could use ground turkey/turkey mince, or lean beef mince/lean ground beef following the same instructions. 
  3. Brown Rice:  Make sure to use instant or minute brown rice – they kind you zap in the microwave.  Although don’t microwave it before adding it to the chicken.  Use it straight from the packet to act as a binder to hold the meatballs together and make them easier to handle as chicken mince/ground chicken can be quite moist. 
  4. Coriander/Cilantro:  make sure to buy coriander/cilantro that still has the roots attached as they are a major part of this recipe.  The coriander roots are packed with flavour and it really comes through. 
  5. Crushed Garlic, Ginger and red onion:  these are the flavour base ingredients.  Using fresh garlic and ginger or garlic/ginger from a jar is perfectly fine and will still give you a very tasty result. 
  6. Garam Masala, Tumeric, Coriander Seeds, Mustard Seeds:  these are the essential spices that create the curry base. 
  7. Coconut Milk:  My preference is for full fat coconut cream when making curry sauces, however to reduce the number of calories, you can use light coconut milk – the sauce will just be a little thinner. 
  8. Tomatoes:  I prefer using crushed tomatoes as they have a nice texture in the sauce.  Alternatively you could use Passata or tomato puree. 
  9. Chilli:  Make sure to get long red chilis.  Remove the seeds if you want it less hot.  Or keep seeds in if you like it extra spicy 
  10. Butter:  To help bring out all the flavours 
  11. Curry Leaves:  these are lightly fried to become crunchy and I love them sprinkled on top of my bowl of curry as well as incorporating them into the cooking process. 
  12. Nutritional information does not include additional rice to serve.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g