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This Sri Lankan Dutch influenced dish for home made spicy meat balls is a favourite of ours.  The recipe is easy to make with the aromatics combined with the mince meat.  The spices elevate the meatballs to another level.  Coated with breadcrumbs, fried and then finished off in a hot oven.  Makes for a delicious snack, appetiser and can be included as part of a main meal.  A dear friend asked me to make these for a Sri Lankan dinner party she was hosting.  As an appetiser they were devoured very quickly and I make them regularly for my family.

1 kg mince beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 small shallots (or red onion finely chopped)
1 thick slice bread (toasted & grated or 2 tbsp bread crumbs)
1 tsp fennel seeds (toasted & finely ground)
1 pinch saffron threads (crushed)
1 tbsp chopped fennel
4 cm piece of ginger (grated)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
juice of 1 lime
6 eggs lightly beaten
400 g dried breadcrumbs for coating
oil for frying or ghee (I used oil for this recipe Rice Bran Oil)

Preparation time:     30 minutes (Approximately)
Cooking Time:     30 minutes (Approximately)
Makes:     24 Meatballs (Approximately)

Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Preheat oven at 180ºC for approximately 15 minutes.

  • In a large bowl place the mince beef, salt, cinnamon, pepper, clove, shallots, bread, fennel seeds, saffron, chopped fennel, ginger, garlic, half the eggs and lime juice.
  • Combine using your hands and mix well.
  • Roll the mixture into golf size balls.
  • Moisten your hands with water to make rolling the balls easier.
  • Roll the balls in the remainder of beaten egg.
  • Coat all the meat balls in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil or ghee and fry until golden on all sides.  Remove from the pan.
  • Place on lined tray and finish off in the oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Check to make sure that they are cooked through.
  • Serve hot.

Cook’s Tips

  1. I have on occasion finished the meatballs on top of the stove in the frying pan.  It works just as well.
  2. Once fried I place them on a tray lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  3. I garnish them with curry leaves and serve them with a home made spicy sauce.



Milanka's Fine Food

Join me on a journey of cooking, sharing recipes, exploring the different varieties and styles of food from around the world. Using fresh ingredients to create healthy, delicious and flavoursome dishes. I would like to share my love of food with you”. I am a Commercial Cook by profession and have been cooking for many years.

Nourish yourself, your family and embrace fresh, wholesome food for well being.

I wish you all good health, happiness and a fulfilling journey through life. -Milanka


6 Responses

    1. Thank you for stopping by Irene. I hope you are well and had a good Easter. Keep well and stay safe.

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