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Recipe: Versatile Chicken Meatballs/Shami

Most people don't often associate meatballs with chicken, but since that is one of the meats we eat, I decided to give it a shot. The meatballs mimic the flavors of 'shami-kebabs' - albeit the meat is not marinated here, and I have not used the traditional chickpeas as a binder.

I’ve used these meatballs in soup, on a sandwich (assembly instructions below), and even broken them down for pizza toppings. Delicious no matter how you use them.

Chicken Meatballs / Shami


2-3 tbsp oil 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp garam masala powder 1 tbsp cayenne pepper powder, to taste 1 cup of mashed potato (Golden Idaho) ½ cup grated carrot ½ cup finely minced cilantro leaves 1 large egg, beaten 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast – minced fine 1 tbsp salt, to taste 1 tsp lemon juice


If baking, preheat the oven to 350’F.

Warm the oil in a small saucepan, add ginger-garlic paste until fragrant. Add garam masala powder and cayenne pepper powder, mix well and set aside.

In a separate container, mix the mashed potato, grated carrots, and cilantro leaves with the spice-laden oil from above, and mix until well combined. Add the beaten egg, chicken mince, salt and lemon juice, and mix until well combined.

Using a 3/4” ice-cream scoop (see note), portion out meatballs onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, or a shallow non-stick griddle.

  • If baking, cook for 15 minutes, and loosen the meatballs off the tray to expose underside. Using a spatula, loosen the meatballs from the griddle and turn them over to ensure even cooking. Cover with foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Check for done-ness before use.

  • If cooking them on a stovetop, cook on medium low for 20 minutes, covered. Using a spatula, loosen the meatballs from the griddle and turn them over to ensure even cooking. Cook covered for another 10 minutes. Check for done-ness before use.


  • Ice-cream scoop note: if using a larger sized scoop, cook at a lower temperature for longer and check one meatball after 35 minutes, to see if the inside is cooked. If it is still pinkish, cook for another 5 minutes.

  • Use a buttery potato for this one, so the flavors are contained but the texture is creamy. I used Baby Dutch Potatoes® from Melissa’s Produce for this one.

  • Chicken Meatball Sandwich: Warm through the meatballs in a skillet with about 4-5 tbsp marinara sauce until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Warm a slice of bread, top with shredded cheeses, finely minced red onions, and basil leaves. Finish with a second slice of warmed bread. Enjoy!

  • The bean soup used a six-bean medley, also from Melissa’s Produce. The focaccia bread was made by my teen.


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Nandita Godbole
Once: botanist & landscape architect.
Now: personal chef, author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger, poet & potter!
Always: dreamer.

Loves fresh brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 
Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 
Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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