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Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free option
Scrumptious Indian Vegetarian Meatballs made with paneer, quinoa, and mixed vegetables. Prepare sauce and spaghetti and you've got Indian Vegetarian Spaghetti & Meatballs.
0 from 0 votes
Author: Nisha
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Indian-Inspired
Servings 4 servings
Calories 802 kcal


for Quinoa in Instant Pot

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water

for Veggie Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 fennel
  • 2 green chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed veggies
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa

for Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

  • 200 grams paneer, pulsed
  • add cooked veggie mixture
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour, besan

for the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 inch stick ginger
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 medium onion. chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder, or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup whole milk, add more milk if you prefer creamier
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

for Spaghetti

  • 3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti, cook until al dente


Prepare the Quinoa in Instant Pot

  • Uncooked quinoa with equal parts of water. Cook for 1 minute in the Instant Pot. This is what you should have.

Prepare the Veggie Mixture for Meatballs

  • Chop ginger, garlic, green chilies, and onion. Set aside 2 cloves, fennel seeds, and frozen mixed vegetables rinsed under warm water, and then drained.
  • Heat up an enameled dutch castiron. Once hot, add oil. Add cloves and fennel. Saute for about 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add rinsed & drained mixed vegetables. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and all the spices.. coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and salt.
  • Stir and add 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa. Stir. Turn off the stove. Let veggie mixture cool.

Prepare the Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

  • Pulse paneer in a food processor.
  • This is what you should have.
  • Add cooked veggie mixture from above.
  • Add fresh cilantro and cardamom powder.
  • Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add chickpea flour (besan) so the dough doesn’t fall apart.
  • Take a mini-scoop and scoop the mixture.
  • Place onto wet hands and form round meatballs.
  • This is what you should have. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Spray a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flip meatballs halfway.
  • This is what you should have.

Prepare Pasta & Sauce

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  • Here are the spices you’ll need along with ginger, garlic, and onions.
  • Heat the same enameled dutch oven on medium heat, once hot, add oil, followed by bay leaf and all the spices – green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions and saute for about 4 minutes.
  • Now add the spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Season with salt as needed. Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately add water to cook the spices and avoid burning.
  • Add crushed tomatoes. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add milk.
  • Then add garam masala.
  • Add fresh cilantro. Stir.
  • Lastly, add vegetarian meatballs. Let the meatballs sit in the sauce for about 10 minutes before serving. Turn off the stove.


Calories: 802kcalCarbohydrates: 119gProtein: 32gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 802mgPotassium: 1470mgFiber: 13gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 4522IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 500mgIron: 9mg
Keyword Meatballs, Paneer, Pasta, Quinoa, Spaghetti
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