Lamb-Almond Dumplings with Tomato Cream Sauce


(Adapted from Raghavan Iyer’s recipe in 660 Curries)

Serves 4 – 6 (4 as a stand-alone main dish, 6 as part of a multicourse dinner)


1 pound ground lamb

½ cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup slivered blanched almonds, ground (or blanched almond flour)

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

6 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garam masala

1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or 1¼ teaspoons table salt)

2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado oil.) or ghee

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup canned tomato sauce

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ cup heavy whipping cream


Cooked rice or Cauliflower “Rice”* for serving



1.   Mix the lamb, red onion, ground almonds (or almond flour), mint, cilantro, garlic, garam masala, and salt together in a bowl. (Using your clean hands is the easiest way to do it.) Form the mixture into 12 meatballs.


2.   Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add the oil or ghee. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for about 5 – 10 seconds. They’ll turn reddish brown and smell nutty.


3.   Add the meatballs and cook, gently turning them, until they are evenly browned. This will take 5 – 8 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a plate.


4.   Stir in the tomato sauce and scrape the pan to deglaze it. Stir in the cardamom and cayenne. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes stirring occasionally. A thin layer of oil will form on the surface and on the sides.


5.   Stir in the cream.


6.   Add the meatballs to the cream sauce and spoon some sauce over them. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve over rice or cauliflower “rice”.


*Cauliflower “Rice”


1 small head cauliflower, leaves and tough core removed, and cut into smaller pieces

1 tablespoon butter


(You can use the grating disc with your food processor, if you have one. It’s very quick and easy. If you don’t have one, grate it by hand with a grater that you would use for cheese.)


1.   Grate the cauliflower. (I did this step before I started the meatballs.)

2.   While the meatballs are simmering in the sauce, heat a second skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the butter. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 – 4 minutes. Serve with the meatballs and sauce.