December and January saw a lot of family fun - barbecues and more barbecues saw us trying out various short eats at home. Sometime last month Roshan tried making these meatballs on a whim. He wanted to actually make them for the kofta curry that he had in mind, but the curry flew out of the window as the meatballs were so delicious that they hardly survived 10 mins after coming out of the airfryer. Ah, that's another story I have to tell you. January was also the time when our family friends Shamin & Roshni Sequeira drove down all the way from Oman with their family to spend New Years with us and they gifted us this lovely airfryer from Philips which we simply love to experiment with (thank you so much guys!!). From spring rolls to idlies to kebabs to meatballs it just about fries anything with little or no oil. Fabulous ain't it?
The week after we got the airfryer we must have used it umpteen number of times especially because cooking durations are simply slashed down in this apparatus. The best part about the airfryer is that you can preheat it, pop your food in it and set the timer and temperature and go on with your other chores. Unlike the traditional deep frying method which calls for so much oil and needs your undivided attention the airfryer is definitely a healthier option. If you don't have an airfryer you can still make these meatballs and use them as required. They are great as a party appetizer or to be added to pasta or curries or as finger foods to little ones - its a one time job to make them as you can always freeze them and use them later. So do make them wontchya?
Prep time: 10 mins | Marinating time: 2 hours or overnight | Yield 60-70 meatballs (size as seen in the picture)
- 1 kg minced beef
- 2 small-medium sized onions very finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of ginger & garlic paste
- 2-3 small green chillies (the spicy variety), de seeded and finely minced
- 2 teaspoons of plain red chilli powder (reduce it if you like)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/4 turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
- 2-3 teaspoons mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard paste (optional but recommended to enhance taste)
- salt to taste
1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together (except the oil) and keep overnight for best results
2. Make lime sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. If you like brush a little oil over the meatballs
3. I fried the meatballs in my Philips Airfryer - preheated the airfryer at 200 C for 7 minutes and fried the meatballs brushed with a few drops of oil for about 7-8 minutes. Halfway into the frying time remove the fryer basket out and shake it a little to ensure even cooking/browning. As my fryer basket is small I fried about 22-24 meatballs per batch. The subsequent frying sessions took approx 7 mins to cook.
4. Remove and serve hot as an appetizer (with a toothpick poked in each meatball). If you wish to cook them along with spaghetti or any other kind of pasta, use as required. Store them in a freezer safe, airtight container and freeze them to be used later (if you wish to make a North Indian style kofta curry or a Mangalorean style meatball curry)
1. If you don't have an airfryer you can also bake the meatballs in a regular oven. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C and bake for 17-18 mins or till done. The baking time will vary depending on the type/size of the oven so keep a watch. The meatballs should be light golden in colour.
2. Since onions tend to release water it is ideal to make the meatballs and airfry/bake (basically cook them) before freezing. Do not freeze the uncooked mixture as the onions will turn soggy (and smelly) upon thawing. Cooked meatballs will last a long time when stored in an airtight, freezer safe container. Just remove as many as you require and pop them in the microwave before serving (or cooking in a curry)
3. We have had best results with the Brazilian beef available at Carrefour (tried it twice) and a bad experience with veal (avoid it if possible)