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side view shot of meatballs in a bowl drizzled with sauce
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4.65 from 17 votes

Indonesian Meatballs

These spicy chicken Indonesian meatballs come complete in a creamy coconut curry sauce that really is quite easy to prepare and are out of bounds delicious!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indonesian
Keyword: indonesian food, meatballs
Servings: 8
Calories: 305kcal


For Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, I used Panko
  • 1 red chili pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • 5 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste optional
  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil for frying meatballs

For Sauce


  • In a large bowl add all the meatball ingredients, except the peanut oil, and mix well using your clean hands. Shape the meat mixture into 1 inch meatballs. You should get around 40 meatballs.
  • In a skillet heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry until golden all around, should take about 7 minutes. If your skillet isn't large enough you may need to do this in a couple batches. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside.
  • Trim the top and base of the lemongrass stalks and peel off any dry or tough outer layers. Using a meat mallet, pound the lemongrass stalks until well bruised to release the flavor.
  • In the same skillet that was used to fry the meatballs add the chicken broth, red curry paste, unsweetened coconut milk, curry powder, salt, pepper, Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet, toss them around to cover them in the sauce, then cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, uncovered over medium-low heat. 
  • Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves from the sauce.
  • If you're adding the shredded coconut, add it now and stir. I added this for a bit of sweetness to the sauce, but this is totally optional. You could also add a tsp or so of brown sugar. 
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve over cooked rice.



The white sauce you see in the photos is some plain yogurt thinned with a bit of milk to make it easier to drizzle.
If you want to use a gluten free substitute for the panko breadcrumbs, substitute with 1/3 cup potato starch, also called potato flour.
Kaffir lime leaves can be found in the produce section of your grocery store near the lemongrass. If you can't find any, just use regular lime juice.
* Lemongrass is a stiff grass native to India and is usually used as a herb in Asian Cuisine. Lemongrass is citrusy with a lemony flavor and it tastes like a mix of lemon and lemon mint. Lemongrass is also very fragrant.
Use as much red curry paste as you wish, some curry pastes may be spicier than others, so use your favorite brand and taste as you go along to adjust the spiciness level to what you prefer.
These meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
This recipe also freezes quite well so just be sure to separate the balls from the sauce in airtight containers and store. Each should last around 3 months frozen. Just allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove top when ready to eat!
Nutritional information assumes about 5 meatballs and sauce per serving.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 890IU | Vitamin C: 11.8mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.2mg