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Lamb-Almond Dumplings with Tomato Cream Sauce

March 6, 2017

By Kath Dedon


Lamb-Almond Dumplings with Tomato Cream Sauce is a fabulous recipe from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries. I had a pound of ground lamb in the refrigerator and wanted to try something new with it. A search for “ground lamb” on led me to the recipe. (If you have a large cookbook collection, as I do, a subscription to Eat Your Books is SO useful!)

The recipe uses ¼ cup ground slivered blanched almonds as a binder. I have some blanched almond flour so I used that. If I were to grind slivered almonds, I would probably use the coffee grinder that I use for a spice grinder. If you have a nut allergy, you might try grinding sunflower seeds instead.

In his tips, Iyer mentions that the ground almonds are the binder, but he says if the meatballs fall apart when you’re forming them, you can add a beaten egg to the meat mixture. With the almond flour, I found the egg was not necessary. The meat was easy to form into meatballs.

I did not make Iyer’s recipe for Punjabi garam masala to use in this recipe. Instead, I used Kashmiri garam masala from World Spice Merchants. The curry was absolutely delicious, but I am now curious to make it again with the garam masala that he recommends.

Lamb-Almond Dumplings with Tomato Cream Sauce is one of the best things I’ve made lately. Bob and I both loved it over cauliflower “rice”. I’m excited to have leftovers tonight!


Lamb-Almond Dumplings in a Tomato Cream Sauce


Lamb-Almond Dumplings with Tomato Cream Sauce

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


(print the recipe)


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


Ingredients: Lamb, blanched almond flour, mint, cumin seeds, coriander and cayenne, garlic, cilantro, red onion, cream, tomato sauce, and garam masala



  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.

Lamb meatballs


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

Browning the meatballs


  1. 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.
  1. Stir in the cream.

Tomato Cream Sauce


  1. 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”.


Meatballs in sauce


*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.


grating cauliflower

 Shredded cauliflower


Lamb-Almond Dumplings in a Tomato Cream Sauce - Copy




6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2017 4:18 am

    These looks wonderful, Kath. I love lamb, and cream, and curry…. So I bet these would be right up my alley. And I’ve been meaning to try cauliflower rice for some time now. Seems like a great way to cut down on the carbs.

    • March 7, 2017 6:42 am

      We really loved these, Frank. Two nights in a row! And the cauliflower rice? It’s surprisingly good, especially if it’s topped with a delicious sauce.

  2. March 10, 2017 9:58 am

    We made these last night and they were DELICIOUS! We made a few substitutions:

    – Used a 50% lamb and 50% beef mix
    – Sunflower seeds instead of almonds
    – Canned coconut milk instead of cream

    Super flavorful

  3. lostinapot2017 permalink
    March 13, 2017 5:57 am

    This is a great recipe. We’ve made a similar version of this many times. We substitute both ground “roasted pine-nuts” and ground quick cooked oatmeal (uncooked) for the almonds. When we use the oat meal we add an egg. I think it taste better with the ground almonds, but my wife has a nut allergy.
    Never tried it made with Punjabi Garam Masala. I pinned this as I want to try your recipe with Punjabi Garam Masala. Thanks for the post!

  4. March 13, 2017 6:05 am

    I like that it’s so easily adaptable for dietary restrictions. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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