Gushtaba! (Kashmiri Meatball Curry)


Admittedly, after making seven curry recipes, they all start to blend together; meat and/or vegetables cooked in a sauce made from a mixture of spices, served with rice. Ugh, how original.

Sure, they each have their unique quirk – allspice in this one & thinner sauce in that one – but the general idea remains the same. So, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across gushtaba – a curry whose focus is on meatballs. I knew I had to try out my own version.IMG_3286But first, a proper definition is in order: gushtaba is a type of Kashmiri (Northern India) Curry made up of mutton leg meatballs that are coaxed in a tangy yogurt sauce. Mutton is the meat of an adult sheep, which differs from that of lamb, which comes from a sheep that’s generally 12-18 months old.

The yogurt gravy or “curry” is seasoned with garam masala, fenugreek, ginger, fennel, cilantro, and fresh mint, which lends gushtaba a profile of flavors that’s a good bit different than its cousins.IMG_3287Generally, the mutton meatballs are poached in yogurt gravy until cooked all the way through. However, I don’t see why we shouldn’t enhance their flavor by searing them first – so that’s exactly what we did to our “meatballs” made from Eden’s black eyed peas and seared portobello mushrooms.

To hold ‘em together, we use coarsely ground hazelnuts, which prevents the “meatballs” from crumbling into a mushy mess. Albeit, the consistency of gushtaba meatballs are velvety and smooth on the inside, which opposes the popular, chewy, meaty, firm texture of Italian meatballs.

Thus, these veggie balls are softer than orthodox ones.IMG_3290

Side note: we’re not sponsored by Eden, they simply make the only beans that are pressure in a non-BPA can, making them lectin-free and gut friendly. Hooray!

Another unique element that separates gushtaba from the rest is the addition of caramelized onion paste, which gives the sauce immense depth, sweetness, and richness.

You may not think that the mixture of onion, coconut oil, and a little bit of salt can be transformed into one of the most delicious concoctions in the world, but whoo! Once puréed, this mixture alone is edible by the spoonful.

IMG_3289All in all, this vegan, lectin-limited take on gushtaba is:

  • Velvety
  • Full-bodied
  • Lightly tangy
  • Hearty
  • Quick
  • Kashmiri-inspired

IMG_3288We hope you enjoy the last recipe of curry month! It’s been a blast learning about the history of individual curries, devising strategies to make them plant-based & lectin-limited, and seeing the enthusiastic responses we’ve received from so many of you guys.

The purpose of this month has been to respect culinary traditions (while keeping the integrity of our strict diets), learn unique cooking techniques, and dine on curries more flavorful, authentic, and healthy than what most restaurants offer; through making these dishes, I feel like I now understand more about the culture of the peoples of Jamaica, India, Japan, Thailand, and Britain.

October will be a theme-less month, during which we will be sharing many of our favorite recipes that we came up with in between curry recipes. Translation: most October recipes will be on the simpler, faster, & cleaner side of the culinary spectrum, because the last thing I wanted to do after spending an hour and a half on curry would be to make a meal that takes just as long!

November, on the other hand, will feature 8 different home-style, fall-favorite recipes leading into our favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.

If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

All the best,
Ryan & Kim

Gushtaba! (Kashmiri Meatball Curry)

  • Servings: Two
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Tender veggieballs served in tangy, aromatic coconut yogurt sauce.

Ingredients

Veggieballs

  •  1 c black eyed beans by Eden
  •  8 oz portobello mushroom, finely diced (about 1 1/2 large caps)
  •  1/4 c hazelnuts, finely crushed
  •  1/2 tsp garam Masala
  •  1/4 tsp ginger
  •  1/4 tsp fennel powder
  •  Pinch of salt
  •  1 tsp coconut oil

Gravy

  •  1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  •  3 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  •  Pinch of salt
  •  3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  •  1/2 tsp garam masala
  •  1/2 tsp fennel powder
  •  1/2 tsp ginger powder
  •  1/4 finely chopped cilantro
  •  2 c coconut yogurt
  • Mint chiffonade

Spiced Cauliflower Rice (optional)

  • 12 oz riced cauliflower (I like 365’s organic, frozen variety)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

  1.  Cook portobello in 1 tsp of coconut oil over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until tender and reduced in size.
  2.  Combine beans, mushrooms, finely crushed hazelnuts, garam masala, ginger, fennel, and heavy pinch of salt. Blend until homogenous; 5-10 pulses.
  3.  Scoop out 2 tablespoons of “meatball dough” and form into 8 individual balls. Set on a plate and place in the fridge while prepping sauce.
  4.  Cook onions in a wide non-stick pot over medium heat along with oil and a pinch of salt – stirring every minute – until onions are lightly browned around the edges and soft; about 15 minutes. Then, toss in garlic, garam masala, fennel, ginger, and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the garlic is lightly browned.
  5.  Transfer to a mini food processor or personal blender and blitz until smooth. Set mixture aside.
  6.  Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the same pot over medium heat. Then, add meatballs in and cook until browned on at least two sides; about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  7.  Add in onion mixture back into the pot over medium heat and stir in yogurt & cilantro. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  8.  Add seared meatballs and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  9. For cauliflower rice, heat a medium non-stick pan over high heat. Once hot, add in all of the ingredients. Stir to combine and cook for 5-7 minutes – stirring occasionally – or until cauliflower has reached desired tenderness.
  10.  Best while fresh; top with mint chiffonade and serve with spiced cauliflower rice!

 

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