Tandoori spices give these turkey meatballs mouthwatering flavor. Served with a cooling yogurt cilantro sauce, these spicy meatballs are terrific served with summer zucchini.
If you aren’t familiar with Tandoori, authentic tandoori comes from the Indian subcontinent and is often chicken cooked in a clay oven with yogurt and spices like garam masala, garlic, ginger, onion, and cayenne pepper. However, these turkey meatballs fall more in line with the recipes I’ve Googled over the years and includes a variety of warming spices.
Trying to describe the flavor Tandoori spices impart to these turkey meatballs is tough, so I decided to see what other cooks had to say and found a good description over at Love Foodies.
“The taste of the Tandoori is special in that it’s difficult to describe! You get a spicy flavour, yet it is not hot as in chili hot. The spice, mixed with the yoghurt and the tang of the lemon or lime is a great combination.”
I wholeheartedly agree!
Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. There is a bundle of spices in the list, but that’s the bulk of the ingredients. It’s mostly a matter of slicing a few zucchinis, dumping spices into a bowl with your ground turkey, then whipping up a quick sauce.
I had cooked quinoa on hand, but you could easily swap in oats, and any brand of plain yogurt will impart moisture to turkey meatballs that tend to be dry.
I must admit, Mr. Mike isn’t a fan of turkey meatballs or tandoori flavors, so it was the cooling yogurt sauce with shredded cucumber, cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne that saved the meal for him. When I served the leftovers as a wrap the next evening, he was a much happier man.
PS. If you’re in the mood to grill, these Tandoori Chicken Thighs turn out fantastic on an outdoor grill. And before I leave today, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a Celtic Sea Salt bundle!
Tandoori Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Skewers and Yogurt Cilantro Sauce
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 2 pounds extra lean ground turkey
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked or quick cooking oats
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zucchini Skewers:
- 12 ea wood skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
- 4 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise in half, then slice lengthwise again. Cut into 1/2" pieces.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Soak wood skewers in water while combining meatball ingredients.
- Combine turkey, quinoa, egg, coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 4 tablespoons yogurt, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
Mixwill be soft.
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet sprayed generously with cooking spray over medium heat. Working in batches, use an ice-cream scoop to place 6 meatballs into the pan and brown on both sides for 3 - 4 minutes per side, then remove to the baking sheet. Make the second batch and place them on the baking sheet as well.
- Combine zucchini, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a second bowl.
- Skewer zucchini and arrange around the meatballs.
- Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes taking care not to over-cook or meatballs will the tough. I slice one to make sure it’s no longer raw in the middle with just a faint tinge of pink, then remove from the oven to allow the meatballs to finish cooking.
- While meatballs are cooking, combine remaining yogurt, cilantro, honey and cayenne in a bowl and chill.
- Serve meatballs and zucchini with sauce.
Food energy: 386kcal
Weight Watchers Smart Points 11
Saturated fatty acids: 4.84g
Total fat: 16.49g
Calories from fat: 148
Carbohydrate, by difference: 20.61g
Total dietary fiber: 3.51g
Total sugars: 11.77g