Indian ‘Makhani’ Meatballs

Arun Kapil


Meatball Ingredients

(makes 12 to 15 balls)

  • 150g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g full fat milk, from the fridge
  • 400g minced beef, 10% fat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Small handful coriander leaf and stems sliced & teaspoon or two of thyme leaves
  • 1 deseeded, diced red chilli
  • 2 tsp dried methi leaves
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium organic egg

Butter ‘Makhani’ Sauce Ingredients

(sauce for about 15 balls)

  • 200g cashew nuts
  • 400g hot water
  • 20g ginger, no need to peel
  • 225g butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tsp Green Saffron Crackin’ Curry Powder or Tikka spice blend
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 dstsp tomato purée
  • 200g cream
  • Pinch of sea salt, to taste


Minced beef, baked chilli pumpkin, hazelnut & paneer  

Creamy cashew curry sauce

Great textured minced beef meatballs a totally indulgent, creamy butter ‘Makhani’ sauce, simple seasonal pumpkin bake and zesty nut sprinkle. The sauce might traditionally be associated with ‘Butter Chicken’, here I’m mixing it up coating fragrant meatballs with the renown rich north Indian sauce. Yum!



  1. Set your oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C
  2. Mix the milk into the crumb. Set aside for 10 minutes then combine with all the other ingredients.
  3. Roll the mixture into slightly smaller than golf ball sized rounds, place onto a grease proof paper lined baking tray then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until only just cooked through. Set aside.


Butter ‘Makhani’ Sauce Ingredients


  1. Soak the nuts in the hot water for 15 minutes. Then pop these and all the liquid into a food processor, add the ginger, blitz to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Melt 25g of the butter in a large saucepan, when foaming add the onion and gently fry until soft but not coloured.
  3. Add the Green Saffron spice blend, cayenne pepper, stir for half a minute, then add the tomato purée, nut paste, remaining butter and gently cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and blitz to a smooth sauce with a hand blender or Thermomix or food processor,
  4. Return the smooth sauce to the pan, pour in the cream, stir well, cook gently for about 5 minutes, check seasoning, adding a little salt if needed. Pop the meatballs into the sauce and gently cook for a final few mins, about 4 to 5 minutes.


  • Slice up a small pumpkin into wedges, something like a Kombucha, Delica or Turk’s Head are my favourites, but a butternut squash is also fine. Rub with a mix of cayenne pepper, white pepper, salt, cumin, cinnamon and oil. Roast for about 35 mins until just wilting, scorched and soft.
  • Toast and skin a good handful of hazelnuts, roughly chop, mix with lemon zest. Set aside.
  • On a large, warmed platter place the meatballs to one side, coat with a little sauce. Pile up the pumpkin wedges to the other side, sprinkle with the zesty nuts, crumble over a square of paneer cheese, about 35g to 40g and serve (family style) with a jug of sauce to the side. Enjoy!