Kari Urundai Kuzhambu

This is a South Indian recipe for meat ball curry that is traditionally prepared with ground goat or keema. Since ground goat is not commonly sold here in the US, I used ground lamb and this doesn’t take away anything from the original. The fact that my mom prepared this dish occasionally only made it a delicacy that we always looked forward to relishing.

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For the meat balls:
Ground lamb – 1/2 pound
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Garlic cloves – 4
Ginger, chopped – 2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Clove – 2
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2 to 3
Coriander leaves, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

For the curry:
Curry leaves – 6-8
Vadagam – 2 tsp (optional)
Onion, finely chopped – 1.5 cups
Tomato, finely chopped – 1/2 cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 3 tsp
Dhania powder – 2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
Coconut milk – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Oil – 3 tbsp


  • Heat oil in a pot and add cinnamon, curry leaves and vadagam
  • Add onion and saute well for 5 minutes
  • Then add ginger-garlic paste and tomato and saute for few more minutes
  • Add tumeric, chilli powder, dhania powder and salt
  • Add approximately 2 cups of water. Close and cook on medium to high heat for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, start preparing the meat balls by grinding together grated coconut, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, clove and turmeric
  • Add the ground meat to this and pulse a few times until well mixed. Set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add green chillies and onion and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add coriander leaves and saute for couple more minutes before turning off heat
  • Add this to the ground mixture followed by salt and mix well
  • The picture on the left shows (from right to left), ground meat, coconut mixture and meat mixed with the coconut mixture
  • The picture on the right shows the meat ball mixture with sauteed onions added
  • IMG_3901  IMG_3903





  • Once the curry/ kuzhambu has cooked well, add the tamarind paste and coconut milk and boil for few minutes
  • Make small balls from the ground mixture and drop them into the curry
  • Cover and boil for 6-8 minutes
  • Add coriander leaves before turning off heat
  • Serve hot with rice

IMG_3965Tip: If you end up with more meat balls than that the curry can hold, make them into patties and pan fry them with oil or ghee and serve as a side.

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