Mumbai Meatballs with Dipping Sauce

Whether you eat these meatballs as dinner or serve them as an appetizer, they're sure to make your taste buds smile.
Mumbai-Meatballs-with-Dipping-Sauce-AvivaGoldfarb S-30

Mumbai Meatballs with Dipping Sauce

Whether you eat these meatballs as dinner or serve them as an appetizer, they’re sure to make your taste buds smile.

Prep (10 minutes) + Cook (25 minutes)

Makes 4 servings, 6 or 7 meatballs

Mumbai Meatballs with Dipping Sauce - AvivaGoldfarb

My friend Madhavi Naik, originally from Mumbai (Mumbai is the Indian name for what we used to call Bombay, India), gave me her appetizer recipe for Indian meatballs.  The meatballs were so good that I thought they would make a unique, family-friendly dinner, too.

Serve the meatballs on colorful toothpicks with a few dipping sauces (even sauces as pedestrian as ketchup and mustard), and with Indian Quinoa Pilaf.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey, chicken or beef
  • 1 slice wheat or white bread, moistened with water
  • 1/4 small yellow or white onion, minced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander (or use ground cumin or 1 tsp. of each if you like more spice)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (an Indian spice blend) (if you can’t find it, use extra curry powder)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic or ginger or 1/4 tsp. ground garlic or ginger (or both if you like more flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup mango chutney or any variety (or use apricot jam if you can’t find chutney), to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the meat in a medium bowl and crumble in the moistened bread with your fingers.  Add the next 7 ingredients (onions through salt) and mix thoroughly.  (At this point you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours or proceed with the recipe.)

(Start the quinoa, if you are serving it.)

Using wet hands, form the mixture into 25 – 30 meatballs, about 1 1/2-inches wide.  Put the meatballs on a large baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and bake them for 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked through (cut a large meatball in half to see if it is brown and firm throughout).

While the meatballs bake, combine the yogurt and chutney in a small bowl.  Serve the meatballs with toothpicks, if desired (don’t give toothpicks to children under 2), and the chutney-yogurt dipping sauce.

Slow Cooker Directions: 

Prepare and form meatballs as directed.  Place in slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Do Ahead or Delegate:  

Mince the onion, beat the egg and refrigerate, combine the dry seasonings, peel the garlic and/or ginger, make the meatball mixture and refrigerate, prepare the dipping sauce and refrigerate.


If your kids aren’t fans of whole wheat bread, try white whole wheat, which is made of a type of wheat that’s softer and has a milder taste.

Scramble Flavor Booster: 

Use both coriander and cumin, as well as garlic and ginger.  Add a dash of ground cloves or cinnamon to the meat mixture.

Side Dish Suggestion: 

Rinse the quinoa (unless using pre-rinsed quinoa such as Ancient Harvest) in a fine strainer. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, quinoa, chili pepper (optional), turmeric, cumin and cinnamon and stir for about 1 minute. Add the salt and 1 3/4 cups water, bring it to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer it for 15 minutes. Remove the cover, stir in the frozen peas, and serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values):

Calories 260, Total Fat 10g, 15%, Saturated Fat 3g, 15%, Cholesterol 125mg, 42%, Sodium 530mg, 22%, Total Carbohydrate 16g, 5%, Dietary Fiber 1g, 4%, Sugar 3g, Protein 27g

Like this recipe?

There are plenty more like it, along with many other resources to make your healthy family dinners a reality, at my meal-planning service, The Six O’Clock Scramble.



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