Kaima Unday Barthad (Dry Fried Meatballs) by Shalini Nanda

Seasoned with a fresh green herb paste and a few woody spices,  these meatballs are poached first in simmering water, then fried to a rich brown savouriness in a generous amount of ghee.

They keep well, so were ideal for long train journeys, to be eaten with curd rice. A perfect hot snack with a drink, or a filling for a sandwich or wrap. Serve them with a light pulao, or ghee rice. Oh, and they’re the perfect late night snack, eaten cold from the fridge!

A note on the cooking – in this recipe, I’ve used extra lean ground lamb, which cooks very quickly, so the poaching process is much shorter than if you were to use conventional minced mutton. Keep the water at a very gentle simmer to prevent the meatballs from disintegrating, and fry them carefully. Their texture is more like that of a shami kebab, whereas the ones made with mutton are firmer and will hold their shape better.


Dry fried meatballs

1/2 kg lean, finely minced meat
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Optional: a few curry leaves or 1 – 2 cloves for the poaching liquid

Grind together:

5 green chillis (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger paste
1/2 tbsp fresh garlic paste
1/2 cup packed fresh coriander
3 tbsp fresh,grated coconut, ground to a fine paste
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt or to taste

Very lightly roast and powder:

1” stick of cassia or cinnamon
5 cloves
5 – 6 black peppercorns
Knead all the above ingredients together thoroughly.

To finish:

2 – 3 tbsp ghee
Combine all the ingredients and knead together. Form into small balls – you should be able to make approx 20 – 22 pcs from this mixture.

In a wide, shallow pan, bring 2 – 3 cups of water to a gentle simmer and put the meatballs in. If using curry leaves or cloves, add them to the water now. Poach the meatballs in the simmering water, turning to cook evenly.

When they are cooked through, remove the meatballs to a plate and boil off any remaining liquid. Discard the cloves/curry leaves. Add the ghee to the pan and sauté the meatballs to a rich golden brown.

Serve hot with wedges of lime.

About The Contributor:

Biddanda Shalini Nanda Nagappa is a Canada-based food blogger and hosts ‘A Cookery Year in Coorg’, the most authentic Kodagu food blog. Shalini is very passionate about Kodagu food culture and has taken the pain to dig deep into the history of the culinary habits of Kodagu people. Her popular blog features well-researched articles and family recipes.

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