You say Kabobs; I say Meatless Meatballs

September 09, 2017

You say Kabobs; I say Meatless Meatballs - Indian As Apple Pie

This idea grew out of frustration.

While my husband loves my version of lamb kabobs - I needed something for me.

As most of you know already, I am more of a plant-based eater. But, I'll never sacrifice flavor. It has to be delicious - and typically has to be a dish that will satisfy even my omnivore of a husband. The answer? These beautifully scrumptious meatballs based on the kabob recipe in my third book, Indian For Everyone. If you have my cookbook already, check out page 87 and follow along.*

The first step was developing a 'meat-ier' platform that mimicked the texture of the lamb traditionally used for these kabobs. While some folks think that vegetarians actually crave the flavor and texture of meat, I beg to differ. Many of us are vegetarian because we simply don't care for the flavor or smell of meat. 

Let me repeat that. Many of us are vegetarian because we simply DO NOT care for the flavor or smell of meat. Yes. It's really that basic. 

But, I do want to work with a texture that is heartier so that it hold together in recipes and has depth to it. Why, when I'm in these situations, I always reach for my black chickpeas, which are tinier and meatier than their white counterpart. If you have yet to discover the magical black chickpea, please add it to your pantry. I promise you'll thank me! I added tofu as well to this recipe to act like a binding agent. And, voila! 

Even the omnivore in your life will love, love, love them. 

Veggie Kabobs or Meatless Meatballs 
Makes 25-30 

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups cooked black chickpeas **
6-8 ounces firm organic tofu, crumpled
1 small onion, finely minced
2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
2 tablespoons kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), slightly crushed **
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chile power or cayenne
2 teaspoons salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. In a food processor, grind down the ginger and chickpeas. Take your time push product down from the sides if needed. Add tofu and grind down again. 

3. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. 

4. Form small balls with your hands. It helps to have a small bowl of water nearby to dip your hands in between forming the meatballs. 

5. Lightly spray a cast iron pan. In a single layer, add the meatballs to the pan. Lightly spray them them with oil. Place in oven and cook for a total of 30 minutes, turning in between. Serve with a side of mint and/or tamarind chutney. 

* The only difference here versus the recipe in my book, is that here I cooked the black chickpeas. Either way will work. Cooking will give you a slightly softer texture. 

** soak your chickpeas at least an hour to overnight, drain, and then boil in water until soft, usually about 1 hour. 

*** kasoori methi can be found in most Indian grocery stores. Omit if you don't have, but try and get it when you have the opportunity. It adds a ton of flavor. 

Here's the beautiful result. 


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