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Creamy Coconut Meatball Korma is a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole30, GAPS and Low Carb dinner that takes only 20 minutes prep time and is done in a total of 30 minutes, including cook time. You’ll love this one pan dinner and how budget-friendly the ingredients are! Add cauliflower rice (or basmati white rice for gluten-free), and this fast healthy meal feeds four to five hungry eaters.
Originating in India, this comfort food dish traditionally combined meat or vegetables with coriander, cumin and other spices. Kormas have a creamy base from yogurt or coconut milk and meat juices. This Creamy Coconut Meatball Korma is dairy-free, but I also love the ghee option in the recipe below for those of you who can tolerate ghee.
Kormas are first cooked over high heat, traditionally with ghee, and then simmered over low heat. They can be mild or spicy and made with a variety of truly free-range meats, including lamb, goat, beef and chicken.
I made this korma beautifully healthy by using pasture-raised beef from a nearby farm. We buy ground beef in bulk (from our farmer Alvena!), so it costs about $5 a pound, even though it’s THE best tasting and best-raised beef. Of course, you can buy pasture-raised beef for a lot less than that if you buy the whole cow! 🙂 There are many good quality, budget-friendly options these days, so I hope you have a farm you can support! 🙂
The Ghee Option
Because kormas are often made with yogurt, the yak ghee I recommend (find it here) is particularly well suited to this recipe, because it has a bit more tang than cow’s milk ghee — truly a LOVELY, clean flavor. (It’s also delicious in butter tea or bulletproof coffee.)
Enjoy this quick to prepare, yet completely whole food recipe, and the family or friends with whom you share it.
- 1 pound ground beef , lamb or pork or a combination
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 onions chopped, or use 1 head cauliflower chopped for Keto/low carb version
- 1 bunch spinach - fresh, or use 1/3 bag of frozen spinach
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste <— I like this one that's packed in jars.
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or pasture-raised ghee (see link in Recipe Notes)
- 2 inch nub fresh ginger grated or minced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder <— great bulk price
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala <—the BEST garam masala, or see below in Recipe Notes to make your own
- 1 + 1 teaspoon sea salt separated (2 teaspoons total)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne optional
In small bowl combine and stir together spices. Set aside.
Heat large skillet over high heat until hot. Add fat, onions (or cauliflower) and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Lower heat to medium and sauté 8 minutes.
While onions/cauliflower cook, set out a large plate or broad bowl to make the meatballs. Measure 1 tablespoon from the mixed together spices onto plate. Add remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt, and stir together. Add beef. Mix it together with the spices and salt, and form 15-16 1" meatballs.
Add remaining spices from the small bowl to the sauté pan. Stir into the onions until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Lower heat. Add tomato paste and stir around a bit. Add meatballs, spaced around the pan. Add the coconut milk, spinach only if you're using frozen, ginger and garlic. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes.
Remove lid, stir, add spinach if you're using the fresh option. Cook another 1 minute to wilt the spinach.
Serve with cauliflower rice or basmati white rice (for gluten-free). Garnish, optionally, with freshly minced cilantro.
To make your own Garam Masala Spice Blend (ahead of time), instead of buying a ready-made blend, here's a recipe.