Vegetarian “Meat”Balls in Masala Sauce

Cost Per Serving: $1.38
Yields 4 Servings

*Masala Sauce

Masala Paste Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Small pile of cilantro stems
  • Fistful of almonds
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  1. Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Masala Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup masala paste
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup water or broth
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste


  1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet.
  2. Add 1/4 cup masala paste. Seal the rest and store for later use.
  3. Stir until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Note: If you are using another protein such as chicken, this is a good time to add it to the pan.
  4. Add the tomato puree and water and simmer until it’s a rusty, deep red color. This can take 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 10 additional minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Note: If you simmer longer, the sauce will be thicker and have more flavor.

*Masala Sauce Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum.


**Veggie “Meat”balls


  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4-5 cremini (baby bella or white) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. chives, minced
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup oat flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Add the rice and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  4. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes. Carrots should be slightly tender.
  5. In a food processor, combine the cooked onions, carrots, and mushrooms with the beans, tomato paste, chives, rolled oats, nutritional yeast, spices, salt, and cooked rice. Process for about 10 seconds or until you get a soft but slightly chunky mixture. Do not over-process.
  6. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the oat flour. Mix until fully incorporated. The mixture should be soft, but not too sticky.
  7. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 2-Tbsp. sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, turning the balls halfway through baking.
  8. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the baked veggie balls and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Pour in the masala sauce and cook on medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with rice and masala sauce.

**Veggie “Meat”balls Recipe adapted from Full of Plants.


About Hays County Food Bank

We are passionately committed to improving lives through food assistance programs, nutrition education, and advocacy.

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