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I believe that salt is to food, what food is to life. In right proportions, it can heighten the taste of what you eat..and in the wrong - destroy! Even the most delicious sweets come added with some salt...to taste!

As for me, I've never enjoyed cooking. And as contrary to my owning a food-blog as it may sound, I always think about daily, routine cooking as a chore. But my tryst with the pots and pans began when I got a kitchen all to myself...I began experimenting and exploring new worlds in my own home. Some outcomes were excellent and some plain disasters. Then sprouted the need to keep track of all those good ones...and hence this blog!

Here, I share those experiments that pleased more than one palate!

April 21, 2010

Kheema Balls And Coconut Gravy

This happens to be one of my husband's favourite dishes. Sadly, for him I do not make it too often. Not because I do not want to..but simply because it carries with it way too many calories, which he too agrees is not good for us. But, whenever we make it, the fried kheema (minced meat) balls find their way into our tummies before even taking the plunge into the gravy. So, basically this is like a two in one preparation. You can serve the fried kheema balls as an appetizer and dunk some of them (if they escape everyones hands!) into the gravy.

This is my mother-in-law's all time hit recipe and holds a special place in my heart. During my newly-wed days (and even now!) I remember, she would undoubtedly make this for us whenever she would get her hands on kheema in the market ....even after a long, tiring day at work! I would stand there looking at her work her magic in the kitchen...at the most helping with peeling garlic cloves. Shame! With no prior cooking know-how, the making of this specific dish seemed far too complicated for me to even think of trying on my own. Ingredients all over the kitchen...some being blended, some chopped. I was simply dumbfounded, for all I knew back then was to fix a cup of tea for myself. But, she made it all seem so simple and always told me, "Cooking is no rocket science. Just keep trying and you will learn it all". And thanks to her support, I've finally - finally - mastered this preparation! Here it is for you all to try and enjoy.

Before you start, let me give you a heads-up on the basic method employed to make this. You make two separate fine ground masalas - One for the gravy and one to add to the kheema/minced meat to flavour the balls.

Also, if you intend making only the fried kheema balls as an appetizer then you can skip reading the coconut gravy part of this recipe.

But, if you plan to make the gravy and add the kheema balls in it then make sure you first semi-fry some kheema balls (for curry) and then deep fry rest. By semi-fry, I mean, fry for about a minute on low flame just to allow the outsides of the kheema balls to turn light brown (and to bind the kheema ball together) and set aside.

That being said I will take you through the recipe now.

Ingredients for the Kheema Balls Masala
1/4 Cup Coconut, grated(I use thawed frozen coconut flakes)
2 tbsp Garlic, grated
1 tbsp Ginger, grated
1" stick Cinnamon
4-5 Cloves
1 Cup Fresh Coriander
1/2 Cup Chana Dalia (Putane)
1.5 tsp Turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp Dhaniya powder/Coriander seed powder
1.5 tbsp Red Chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste)
2lb/1kg Kheema/minced meat(mutton/goat/lamb)- Washed
And, of course, some salt to taste!

If kheema is not very fine then you can add it in the mixer too along with masala and grind it more. You might have to do this in batches to ensure that the entire bulk of kheema is well mixed with the masala.

- Add all the ingredients (except kheema) in the mixer/blender and make a fine paste with minimal use of water
- Add this to the kheema and mix thoroughly
- Make balls (about 1" in diameter) and deep fry (Semi-fry a couple, if you intend to make the gravy, and set them aside right now...else they will be eaten up. Just a word of caution!)

Ingredients for the Coconut Gravy Masala
1/2 Cup Coconut, grated(I use thawed frozen coconut flakes)
1/2 Cup Onion, diced
1/2 Cup Tomato, diced
2 tbsp Garlic, grated
1 tbsp Ginger, grated
1/2 cup Fresh coriander leaves
1" Cinnamon stick
4-5 Cloves
1 tbsp Dhaniya powder
1 tbsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
And, of course, some salt to taste!

- Add all these ingredients in the mixer/blender to make a fine masala using minimum water
- In a pan/cooker, heat oil and add the ground masala and stir
- Add turmeric and salt and bring to a boil
- Once the raw smell goes, simmer add the half fried kheema balls
- Cover and simmer, stirring occassionally, allowing the semi-fried kheema balls to absorb the masala flavour and get cooked through (remember they were only half done when they were fried!)
- Serve hot with either plain white or Ghee rice

1. You can add mutton pieces/bones, if you have any left from the kheema to this gravy, but ensure you cook them well before you add the semi-fried kheema balls.
2. The gravy thickens with time, so if you plan on making it before-hand you might want to add more water and heat it just before you serve



  1. Yum!!!!! feel like grabbing the bowl, tempting gravy...

  2. Awesome..I don't blame you for finishing up the kheema balls before they go into gravy, because I would do the same :D

  3. Gulmohar - I am glad the act is Universal :P

  4. Hi....beautiful click and the dish looks so yummy dear...