A Recipe: Meatballs In Rice

This is a wonderful special-occasion recipe that never ceases to amaze guests. The only reason I am now comfortable with it is that, following my mum’s example, I tend to make a big rice dinner at least once every week and now, after a little practice, it’s a variation of rice we enjoy regularly aH.

I’m very very grateful for this recipe as it’s a huge favourite. If you do try it, let me know how it goes because as with a lot of this stuff, practice makes perfect and I hope I haven’t simplified the recipe down too much! OK, here we go…

  • Recipe for rice:
  • 250g butter
  • 5 cups of Basmati rice
  • 5 medium-sized brown onions
  • 10 cups of boiling water (although not all at once)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of freshly ground whole spices (garam masala). You can also buy this already ground if it’s easier.
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Recipe for meatballs:
  • 500g minced meat
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch fresh root ginger
  • I tomato
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 fresh green chillies
  • handful dhaniya or coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried methi or dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp basaar or Kashmiri pre-mixed curry powder
  • 1 free-range egg lightly beaten
First of all, you melt a whole block of butter into a large pan…
Then you add 4-5 medium onions (sliced) and cook them on medium heat. If you are standing there and would like to quicken the process, you can also cook on high heat.
Once the onions are soft and brown, add 2 tablespoons (or more!) of whole spices (freshly ground in your blender are amazingly fragrant, 1 tablespoon of salt and mix. Add one cup of cold water into the pan and put the lid on so the onions soften further.
This is when you need your kofta or meatball mix. It’s exactly the same recipe as the kebab mix but you don’t add gram flour to it. Make small balls in the palm of your hand and add to the pan of boiling onion water.
Add another 3 cups of boiling water into the pan. Keep making meatballs, about the size of a gobstopper (you know, those old willy wonka ones we used to get in the shops?!) and place them carefully into the boiling water. Put them on top of each other if you have to. Fill a cup with water and keep using it to dampen your palm- this way it won’t stick to it when you’re shaping the meatballs.
Wash 5 cups of rice until the water runs clear and then add it to the pan. Add 6 cups of boiling water from the kettle. Bring the water to the boil, give the rice a quick mix and put the lid on. Leave it on low heat for 30 minutes. The rice should be light and fluffy.
If it is still wet, put a dishcloth on top of your lid and fold it under so that there are no gaps and put something heavy on the lid. Leave it on low heat for another 10-15 minutes or until it is dry.

Peace and love,
Sidra