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CURRY BANANA MEATBALLS

CURRY BANANA MEATBALLS

  • 1 large onion, minced very small
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sunflower oil
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn up and soaked in ¼ cup (60 ml) milk for 20 minutes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 kg lean beef mince
  • 3 tablespoon (45 ml) Mrs Ball’s chutney
  • 2 tablespoon  (30 ml) grape vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) salt
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) spice for mince
  • ¼ teaspoon  (1 ml) grated fresh nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce

Cook the finely chopped onion in hot oil over medium heat until translucent and golden, but not brown, as this will make the onions bitter. Once the bread has soaked up all the milk and turns mushy, place it in a sieve over a bowl and squeeze out all the milk into the bowl using the back of a dessert spoon. Add the bread pulp to the meat in a bowl.

Lightly fork the meat to break it up. Add all the ingredients and mix well using the fork. The seasonings and bread should be evenly dispersed through the meat. Don’t overwork the meat; this will turn your frikkadelle into meat bullets.
Using the cups of both hands, roll scoops of meat about the size of ping-pong balls into neat, round frikkadelle. They should not fall apart, but not be kneaded or squeezed into hard, compact balls either. You’ll get the hang of it by practicing – you can always break up a miserable meatball and start all over again! Place the frikkadelle neatly in an baking dish deep enough to accommodate the topping of a layer of onions, sliced banana and the sauce. About 5 cm deep should do it. Cover with a cloth and keep in a cool place while you make the sauce. You can turn the oven on to 180 C at this stage.
Sauce:
The number of ingredients seem daunting, but rest assured the sauce is totally straightforward and easy-peasy to fling together. Basically you soften the onions in some hot oil, add the spices and seasonings, stir around the pot for 5 or 6 minutes, add the liquid and BAM! your sauce is 15 minutes away from done.

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mild curry powder (25 ml)
  • 10 ml mother in law (not your distant relative..it is a hot and cheeky spice)
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 6 tablespoon (75 ml) grape vinegar
  • 4 tablespoon (60 ml) fine apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoon (45 ml) chutney
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) soft brown sugar
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup (375 ml) water
  • 6 very ripe bananas, sliced thinly

Cook the onion rings in the hot oil over medium heat until translucent and golden. Do not let them brown, as this turns them bitter and you’ll have to start again.
Add the remaining ingredients up to but not including the vinegar. Stir briskly to blend and cook while stirring for another 5 or 6 minutes. Do not scorch the spices, rather turn the heat lower.
Add the vinegar, jam, sugar and water and stir well. Turn the heat up and cook at a brisk boil for 15 – 20 minutes until the onions are soft and the sauce has thickened slightly.
I usually add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Maizena (cornflour) stirred into a paste with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) water to the sauce, to help it thicken.
While the sauce is cooking, arrange the sliced bananas in an even layer over the meatballs. Pour over the sauce and bake in the oven at 180ºC for 60 minutes, or until the top is nice and brown. Serve with plenty of hot white rice, onion and tomato sambal and some chutney and desiccated coconut on the side.

Recipe and Photo: Elize de Kock

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