Spicy Anglo Indian Ball Curry Recipe | Go On, Get Rolling

Updated: August 17, 2022

After viewing photographer Henry Hargreaves' photo exhibit, "No Seconds", featuring haunting images of the last meals requested by inmates on death row, it got me thinking what I'd like for my last supper.

Macabre as it may sound, I didn't have to think hard to come up with Ball Curry and Coconut Rice. It's to die for!

Anglo Indian Ball Curry, kofta curry, meatball curry, ball curry, Indian ball curry, mince ball curry, meat balls, mince balls, beef ball curry

Ball Curry or, as some would call it tongue in cheek, 'Bad-Word Curry' is a quintessential Anglo-Indian favorite. 

Double ground minced meat rolled into meatballs and simmered in a coconut based curry, fragranced with aromatic spices- that's what it's all about. Pepper, cumin, coriander and red chili powder spice up this delicious curry. But then the addition of sweet coconut milk takes the spice level down a notch and transforms the entire preparation into a rich, silky curry floating with  tender, juicy meatballs. Mmmmmm....just thinking about it makes my mouth water!!

Pair Ball Curry with a fragrant 'Coconut Rice' and it just can't get better than that! That's mouth- watering, soul-satisfying Anglo-Indian comfort food right there...at it's best! 

Anglo Indian Ball Curry  and Yellow Coconut Rice, kofta curry, meatball curry, ball curry, Indian ball curry, mince ball curry, meat balls, coconut rice, yellow rice, Indian
Ball Curry and Coconut Rice

These are the first recipes that I wanted to learn from my mother. I figured if I knew how to make Coconut Rice and Ball Curry then I was equipped to tackle anything life sent my way. 

I'm sharing my family's Ball Curry recipe which is still a favorite in our home... cooked often, relished every single time and guaranteed to turn frowns upside down. 

I'm also including my secret to soft, succulent melt-in-your-mouth meatballs, tips for frying the masala correctly and tips to incorporate the coconut milk without it splitting.

If you want to learn more about this niche fusion style of cooking, take a look at Anglo-Indian Cuisine | The Best of East Meets West


Spice level: 4 on 5. For less spice, use half the quantity of chili powder. 


☐ Coconut Milk: 6 heaped teaspoons of coconut milk powder dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot (not boiling) water.

Ingredients for the Masala:

☐ 1 medium onion
☐ 1 teaspoon ginger paste
☐ 1 teaspoon garlic paste
☐ 1 cardamom (seeds only pounded in a mortar and pestle)
☐ 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera)
☐ 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
☐ 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
☐ 1 1/2 heaped teaspoon coriander powder
☐ 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
☐ 3 medium small/ medium tomatoes pureed 
☐ 8 green chilies-slit
☐ 2-3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
☐ 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
☐ Salt

Ingredients for the Meatballs:

☐ 1/2 kg beef/ mutton/ lamb mince (double minced)
☐ 1/2 small onion- very finely diced
☐ 1 green chili- very finely diced
☐ 2 tablespoons- coriander leaves finely chopped
☐ 2 slices of white bread
☐ Salt

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1: Grind the masala

In a mixi/ blender, grind the onion, ginger-garlic paste and all the spice powders (pepper, jeera, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and chili powder).

Step 2: Fry the masala

The secret to a good curry, is frying the masala correctly. 
In hot oil, fry the ground masala paste for about 15 minutes. Stir frequently and check to make sure that it is not burning. Little splashes of water or a little extra oil, will stop the masala from burning.
Frying masala
Fry the onion masala

Then, add the pureed tomatoes and slit green chilies. Fry for another 15 minutes. The puree needs to reduce from it's watery state into a thick, slightly oily masala.

Frying masala
Add tomatoes and fry the masala further

Remove 1 tablespoon of the fried masala and keep it aside to be added to the meat mixture when making the meatballs.

Step 3: Simmer the gravy

Add 2 glasses of water, salt and chopped coriander leaves to the masala and let it simmer while you prepare the meat balls. 

Step 4: Prepare meatballs

In a bowl, combine the minced meat with 1 tablespoon of the ground masala, the finely diced onion, green chili, coriander leaves, salt. (See 'Ingredients for the meatballs')

Soak the bread in water, squeeze out excess water, crumble the soft bread and incorporate it into the meat mixture.

Roll small pieces of the meat mixture into meat balls- about 30 pieces.

 The secret to soft meatballs:
When combining all the ingredients with the minced meat, only use your finger tips to gently combine everything together. Do NOT knead or compact the meat mixture.

When rolling the meatballs, gently roll a small piece of the meat mixture between your palms to form a ball. Do NOT use much pressure and don't compact the meatball. Overworking the meat or rolling the meatballs too firmly will result in a dry, chewy meatball.

It needs to be airy on the inside so that it can absorb the gravy like a sponge. This ensures a soft, juicy melt-in your-mouth meatball brimming with flavors from the curry when you bite into it.

Step 5: Cook meatballs

Once the meatballs are rolled and the curry is bubbling, gently drop each meatball into the curry to cook. DO NOT MOVE THEM AROUND or they will break.

Simmering meatballs
Add meatballs and cook. Do not stir.

Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked. 

After 6-7 minutes of simmering, you can move the meatballs around by gently tilting the vessel so that the balls roll and turn over in the gravy. Don't use a spoon to move the meatballs.

After the meatballs are cooked, add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.

Step 6: Incorporate the coconut milk

Take the vessel off the stove. In a ladle, create a mixture of some of the hot curry and a little bit of the coconut milk. Mix it up in the ladle and then slowly pour this mixture back into the vessel. Gently stir to incorporate this coconut milk mixture into the curry. Repeat this process until all coconut milk has slowly been added to the vessel.

Meatball curry with coconut milk
Add coconut milk on low heat. Do not bubble.

Now, return the curry to the stove on low heat.

Without stirring, allow the curry to heat up. Watch carefully for the surface of the curry to start moving, indicating that it is close the reaching its boiling point. As soon as the first bubble breaks the surface, take the curry off the stove. Any longer and the coconut milk will split.

That's it! Add boiled potatoes to the curry before serving. Best eaten with yellow rice/coconut rice (Click here to see recipe for coconut rice)

Related Recipes:

Want a shortcut ball curry recipe using frozen meatballs and canned coconut milk? Try my Quick version- Ball Curry Recipe

Quick recipe for Anglo Indian Ball Curry with frozen meatballs and canned coconut milk
Quick recipe for Anglo Indian Ball Curry with frozen meatballs and canned coconut milk

Looking for another Anglo-Indian gravy dish that's less spicy. Try Green Masala Chops or Railway Mutton Curry. Delicious for dinner with bread and salad.


To explore all my other Anglo Indian recipes, click on the "ANGLO INDIAN" label below.

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