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September 22, 2019

Meatballs with banana and onion relish

Posted on October 21, 2009 by in beef

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Ground Beef recipes are in their millions on the internet and in magazines and with a few tweaks of spices and recipes here and there every household has their favorite ground beef recipe.
Meatballs come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny little cocktail meatballs on your snack platter to the family size meatballs you serve with your spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce, they remain firm favorites with everyone.

Just like bread, every country has their own version of meatballs too. Think Moroccan Keftas, Greek Keftedes, German Frikadelle, Belgian Ballekes and even the Chinese has a version that is served steamed as part of dim sum. You can read more about different varieties of meatballs over here.
Here in South Africa, meatballs are referred to as Frikadelle, due to German influences in our food culture. Meatballs has been on our menu all my life and we had a housekeeper who could make the most amazing meatballs, not because of some special ingredient that she used, but because she took time in making and braising them. Sadly, meatballs is not my hubby’s favorite form of ground beef, so I have to always disguise it by making Mini meatloaves, Bobotie, Spagetthi with meatballs, lasagna etc. Sometimes I succeed in tricking him, but usually he would end his meal by saying: ” Not bad for a meatball, thanks love!!” Darn, he is just too clever for me.

My hubby loves curry so I thought, why not put curry in the meatballs, he will just have to like it then. Well, believe it or not, he did, so this recipe is a winner and will be on the menu again pretty soon. Another thing about South Africans that you might not know is that we like our curries on the sweet side, so this recipe was then developed around our tastes. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your taste.

Curried Meatballs with Banana and Onion relish


1 kg good quality ground beef
4 – 6 slices of white bread ( we have big slices, so I used 4)
1 medium onion grated
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
chopped coriander
zest and juice of a lemon
2 tsp curry powder
vegetable oil

Soak the bread in water. When the bread is completely drenched, squeeze out the water and mix with all the other ingredients. Form meatballs and fry in vegtable oil until cooked.


Banana and Onion Relish

2 large onions – peeled and sliced thinly
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger – sliced in thin matchsticks
1-2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar – I used pineapple vinegar
vegetable oil
2-3 bananas – peeled and sliced

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions and ginger with the curry powder and the turmeric. The onions must be soft, but still holds its texture. Add the sugar and the vinegar and let the relish cook until the liquid is all gone. Should take 1-2 minutes. Taste and season. Add the sliced bananas and let it just stand for a while so that the flavors can infuse the bananas. Do not cook the bananas.
I served my meatballs on a slice of Sweet potato Bread with fresh rocket and watercress and a helping of parsnip crisps on the side.

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18 Responses to “Meatballs with banana and onion relish”

  1. Anonymous 22 October 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Love the relish, Nins – you are so clever!!! PPD

  2. Jan 22 October 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Banana and onion relish sounds good! Love the curried meatballs.

  3. The Woman 22 October 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    That banana relish looks SERIOUSLY good. And what an awesome idea to make curried meatballs. This is definitely going to form part of my mealplan for next week.

  4. My Carolina Kitchen 22 October 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    My husband would love the bananas with the curried meatballs.

  5. Bellini Valli 22 October 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Adding curry just seems so natural. Ground beef lends itself to so many dishes.You will convert that hubbie of yours yet:D

  6. That Girl 22 October 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Ground beef is one of those great things you can keep on hand for last minute meals.

  7. Pam 22 October 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    The banana onion relish is so creative. I am sure it is extra delicious on those meatballs.

  8. Junglefrog 22 October 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    I think that – as far as meatballs go – this is a really creative twist on the flavors! My hubby loves meatballs, but then is allergic to bananas, so will have to substitute that for something else, but it looks delicious!

  9. Marianna 23 October 2009 at 11:52 am #

    wow ive never had bananas and meat together… this is making me curious! it looks scrumptious though!

  10. elly 23 October 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    This is such an interesting dish, Nina! I love the idea of a banana-onion relish.

  11. Lori Lynn 24 October 2009 at 12:00 am #

    At first I thought you meant banana peppers, but bananas, that is such an interesting relish, I bet it rocks!

  12. Elra 24 October 2009 at 8:03 am #

    Very tasty, pack with flavor. Delicious serve with simple green salad. I am loving the banana and onion relish.

  13. Helene 25 October 2009 at 12:19 am #

    That's a delish, first time I see it with a banana relish.

  14. Kevin 25 October 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    I really like the sound of using banana in a relish!

  15. Peter M 28 October 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    The concept of banana and meatballs is so very foreign to me but I like it, must try it!

  16. glamah16 30 October 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    I did not know you like curries on the sweet side. I would have never thought to pair banannas with this but it sounds so good!

  17. Anonymous 19 July 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Lose all the onions and this could be a tasty meal.

  18. Hazel Conacher 30 September 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Thankyou for a delicious lunch it was voted 5 stars by the wholw family! :). Hazel

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