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Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

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Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce are beef meatballs flavored with soy, fresh ginger and more.  The seasonings transform ordinary meatballs into something delicious and memorable. This Asian meatballs recipe will definitely shake up your appetizer routine!

Don’t wait to host an Indian theme book club or cocktail party to give these yummy beef meatballs a try! They make a delicious light meal, too.

Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce in white bowls

Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce 

I first featured these beef cocktail meatballs in 2010 after hosting an Indian themed book club at my house. The picky hubby is wary of many ethnic foods after being raised in a Midwest meat and potatoes home. But this Asian meatballs recipe wore away at his persnickety palate and he did eat his fair share sans the yogurt sauce after a cursory dip.

My book club, on the other hand, loves trying everything I make, thank goodness. The simple flavorings make this recipe a cinch to make. Even though it’s an Americanized sort of Indian recipe, the flavors are lovely and a fun twist from the typical meatballs.

If you’re interested, here is a list of the Book Club Books we have read since 1996.

3 Indian meatballs on an appetizer plate with a dollop of yogurt sauce

Asian Meatballs

Fast forward to 9 years after I first posted these.  Round two of these meatballs was broiled to update this blog post.  When Bill came home from work, I mentioned the beef meatballs in the fridge. He eyed the yogurt sauce and queried, “Mustard?” Instead of a full explanation, I countered with “cumin” and didn’t mention the more “exotic” turmeric.

After a nibble, he commented that both the Asian meatballs and sauce were “great” (I need to work on eliciting better quotes!). So those taste buds may have actually matured in the nearly a decade since I began this blog.

Tips for Making The Best Meatballs Recipe

Though it’s doubtful you’d find these meatballs being sold on the streets of Delhi, our Midwest family enjoyed every bite of these Indian meatballs. They were “sort of” exotic with soy and fresh ginger in the meatballs and cumin and turmeric in the dip. 

PRO-Tip: To make the best Asian meatballs, use 80/20 ground beef, so there’s enough fat to make them tender. Feel free to substitute ground dark meat chicken or lamb if you prefer one of those over beef.

Finely mince the onions, garlic, and ginger so they are well distributed in each meatball.

PRO-Tip: Use a cookie disher or scoop to parcel out each meatball. Though the recipe calls for about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture per meatball, my scoop is a little larger at 1 1/2 tablespoons.

PRO-Tip: After scooping, use wet hands to roll the meatball around between your palms to make each as round as can be. Wet palms help minimize sticking while you’re shaping your Indian meatballs.

Use a non-stick foil to line your baking pan for easy flipping and clean up.

Be mindful when broiling so your Indian meatballs don’t burn. I do like a little color on mine but watch carefully.

Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce on a white appetizer plate Progressive Eats Logo

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is an Indian Picnic, and our host is Ansh who blogs at SpiceRoots.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious Indian Picnic inspired dishes!

An Indian Picnic



Main Courses

More Meatball Recipes You’ll Love:

This post was first shared in October 2010. The text was edited and new photos were added in 2019.

Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Beef cocktail meatballs with an Indian Twist!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Yield 24 meatballs



  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1+ tablespoon olive oil

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 pint Greek yogurt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, soy, eggs, ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.  Mix together with hands till well combined.

Preheat broiler.

Brush baking sheet with olive oil to coat.  Form 24 meatballs from meat mixture and place 1-1 1/2 inches apart on pan.  Brush with olive oil.  Broil about 4 inches away from heating element for about 8 minutes, turning once at halfway point.

Make spiced yogurt sauce by combining yogurt with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm meatballs with yogurt sauce.


Recipe adapted from The Bride and Groom Menu Cookbook.

Note: calorie count is 3 meatballs per serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 meatballs

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 100mg Sodium: 512mg Carbohydrates: 3g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 27g
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26 comments on “Indian Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce”

  1. NICE! I want to be in your book club:)!

  2. Thanks, Hilary! We’d love to have you!!!

  3. Hi Liz! This recipe is incredibly delicious. Coming from India, I don’t have the ingredients to try out a few other recipes, but your page is eyecandy all the same.

  4. Those meatballs look really juicy and yummy!

  5. Saving for football season:@) They sound great!

  6. I was thinking about Mr. Picky-Eater as I read through this post. I am so glad that he liked them. Fortunately, my hubby loves everything and it’s usually a thumbs up.
    I love the idea of a progressive blog dinner, how cute is that? Love the theme this time too.
    Eva XOXO

  7. I must say you have done good job of converting the man to like Indian food! I have a friend here who loves me to bits but hates Indian food. YUP! Midwestern Woman! :)) I am working on expanding her palate!

  8. I love making all sorts of meatballs, but I’ve never taken them in an Indian direction. The flavors sound great! Love the sauce too.

  9. Sometimes I have to keep some of the more exotic ingredients a secret too until they are tried, lol! These sound yummy.

  10. I always love fresh ginger, Liz – what a hit in these savory meatballs. Sounds like you’re moving in the right palate direction with your hubby, nicely done! (taking notes.) 🙂

  11. Love meatballs of all types. These look lovely and they’re not hard to make. I don’t have to worry about my beloved’s tastes – he’s adventurous:)

  12. We love meatballs around my house. I can’t wait to try that sauce!! Those spices are calling my name!

  13. My stomach is literally growling. Great tips on meatball making, Liz!

  14. Mmmm, meat balls! This sounds like such a terrific dish. Love Indian food, and the flavors in this look spot on. Thanks!

  15. Liz, these look so delicious! Love the flavors!

  16. Meatballs are perfect party food, and I love the Indian twist on both meatballs and sauce! Kudos on pleasing the hubby with the exotic flavors. 😉

  17. Meatballs are one of those things that always puts a smile on my face! The spices in these meatballs rock and I’m all about that yogurt sauce, too. I have a personal chef client who will love these!

  18. I’m thinking you probably have the most delicious book club around! What a treat for everyone in your group. 🙂 Yum!

  19. I love meatballs of all kinds and I’m excited to try these because the flavors are so different than what I typically make. They look and sound totally mouthwatering!!

  20. Liz, your story about “picky hubby” and his persnickety palate gave me a laugh. Pretty soon you are going to have to give him a new nickname now that he likes the meatballs as well as the yogurt sauce. 😀

  21. I’m sure I’d eat more than my fair share of these!

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