The flavor of these meatballs improves when they are cooked a day or two ahead. Store them in the refrigerator. If you prefer a mild curry, omit the red chili pepper.

Serves 4-6
For the meatballs
675 g/1½ lb minced lamb or beef
1 small fresh or canned chili
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Chopped fresh coriander
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup/125 ml plain yogurt
1 egg, beaten to mix
For the sauce
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped or 110 g/1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
Large pinch of ground red chili pepper
175 ml/3/4 cups plain yogurt
175 ml/3/4 cups hot water
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Large deep frying pan

1. Core, seed, and chop the fresh chili or drain, rinse, and chop the canned chili. (Handle fresh chilies with gloves as the oil can burn your skin.)

2. To make the meatballs; Mix the meat, fresh or tinned chili, garlic and ground coriander, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and mace or nutmeg with salt and work twice through the fine plate of a grinder. Stir in the yogurt with enough beaten egg to bind the mixture, fry a small ball and taste it for seasoning. Dampen your hands and roll the mixture into 4-cm/1½-in balls.

3. For the sauce; In a large frying pan heat the oil and sauté the onions until golden brown. Add the tomatoes, ginger root, turmeric, cumin, garlic, and red chili pepper and cook gently, stirring, 2-3 minutes. Add the yogurt and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the hot water and salt, carefully add the meatballs, and sprinkle the chopped coriander on top. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center. Taste the sauce for seasoning. Transfer to a dish for serving.