Indian Spiced No-Meat Balls in a Coconut Curry Sauce – Guest Recipe by Nelly

indian spiced no meat balls

I’m back with the second edition of my Guest​ Recipes series! This time, I asked my super friend Nelly to share a vegan recipe that she loves. With Nelly and me, it was love at first sight – firstly because she’s magnificent, plus we also share a lot of things in common – (like a love of brunch and of food in general, Shonda, Moana, feminism, reading and a lot of tv shows) – Nelly’s always one of the first people I turn to when I’m looking for something new and inspiring.

I knew that a vegan recipe might be a bit of a challenge for Nelly as she’s not really a big fan of veggies, but I always know I can put my faith in her and that she’ll always come up with something amazing. I asked her a few questions as well to make it fun, so scroll down to discover the recipe, get to know Nelly and hear about some of her favourite spots in Montreal!

I’ll let her take it from here and I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe!

If you make Nelly’s recipe, please tag us on Instagram @nellyeb_ and @meli.magpie We’d love to see your re-creations!

“When Melissa asked me to give her a vegan recipe, I panicked. Then, I thought of sharing a vegetarian one that I enjoyed making. If I’ve to talk about food, I’ll do it all day. I’m the type of person that doesn’t care about calories… these are just numbers for me. And, I’m bad at maths.
I saw that as a challenge because I’m not a big fan of vegetables, to say the least. But, I love Melissa and telling her ‘no’ was not an option.
I have a peculiar relationship with green veggies. For example, don’t look for me if you cook broccoli. I cannot stay in the kitchen. Don’t get me started on the smell.
Yet, my workplace made me change my perception.”



Tell us more about yourself.

My name’s Nelly, I live in Canada. It’s always difficult to introduce oneself but I try to be the most honest possible.
I was born in Cameroun, however, I lived all my life in France. At 19, I moved to Montréal. I’ve always dreamt of living the American Dream but I fell in love with the city!

I love TV shows, books and most of all food. I always said that “food cannot betray you”, it can only make someone happy!

Why do you like this recipe so much?

I work in a start-up that delivers weekly food baskets at your door. It’s called Goodfood. It allowed me to try vegetarian recipes that I’d have never thought of. When I think of meatballs I don’t expect “Not-Meat” balls. This delicious recipe proved me wrong. Why do you ask? Indian cuisine has plenty of vegetarian menus that are all very tasty. The delicious meatballs made from red kidney beans and crunchy snap peas sprinkled in coconut milk give you such a rich a recipe you just can’t stop eating!

What are some of the best food spots in Montreal?

Montreal has so many spots where you can eat food from all over the world that it’s truly hard to choose! If you ever come to Montreal, I recommend you go to The Warehouse where their vegetarian burger is the best I’ve eaten!
You cannot visit Montreal and not try poutine. Opinions are mixed but the first time I tasted one, I kept eating poutine during that entire week. I mean, it’s fries, sauce and cheese!

I also found out I love brunch! 1. The food options are doubled. 2. It’s the only way I leave my bed on a Sunday. 3. I can drink alcohol in the morning and not be judged.
L’Avenue serves you hearty dishes whether you’re more salty than sweet. And vice versa. This brunch spot has a cool and trendy atmosphere.

What’s your ideal day?

My ideal day is discovering a new brunch place, enjoy a mimosa then binge-watch a show on Netflix or watch Moana, cry my eyes out while singing!

What are the things you are trying to manifest in your life right now?

I try every day to focus on how I want my life to be. I do not know, yet, what I want. But, I know what I don’t want.

This year, I learnt so many things about myself. For me, being surrounded by a group of women that allows you to be the best version of yourself, challenges you every day and supports you is important.
I have 3 little sisters and I’ve always worked or studied in a female-dominated environment; ladies before bros! Guys are nice, no one but a girl can better understand.
Women don’t tend to stick up for each other and it’s sad. Society doesn’t help but I’m sure it’s something we can change altogether!

I know you’re a big reader, so what books you recently read would you recommend?
I’ve recently bought The Hate U Give, I can’t wait to read it! If it’s not already done, you should read Americanah, you definitely will enjoy life after!


5 from 1 vote


  • 1 cup basmati rice, 210 grams
  • 7 oz sugar snap peas, 225 grams
  • 1 can red kidney beans, 540 ml
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk, 165 ml
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 + 2/3 tbsp breadcrumbs, 18 grams
  • 3 tsp curry spice blend
  • 3 + 1/3 tbsp ginger, 20 grams


  1. In a large pot, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil (double for 4 portions). Once boiling, add the rice. Cover, reduce the heat and let simmer, 14 to 16 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside (covered) for 5 minutes. Fluff the finished rice with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Wipe out and reserve the pot.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F/210°C. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and mince the ginger. Mince the garlic. Peel, halve and mince the shallot. Snap off and discard the stem ends of the sugar snap peas; pull off and discard the tough string that runs the length of each pod. Slice the pods in half widthwise. 

  3. In a food processor or with a potato masher, blend the beans, ½ the garlic and ½ the ginger until smooth. Stir in the breadcrumbs and ½ the spice blend; season generously with salt and pepper. Using your hands, form the mixture into golf-ball-sized balls. Transfer the “meatballs” to a parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with a little oil.

  4. Bake in the oven, 20 to 25 minutes, turning over halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through. 

  5. While the “meatballs” cook, in the reserved pot, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add the shallots, and remaining garlic and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the remaining spice blend and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add the coconut milk (shaking the can before opening) and 1 cup of water (double the water for 4 portions). Simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the curry starts to thicken.

  6. Add the sugar snap peas to the pot of curry. Let simmer, 1 to 3 minutes, until the peas are slightly tender. Gently add the baked “meatballs” to the pot and let simmer for another minute. Season the curry sauce with S&P to taste. Divide the finished curry, “meatballs” and rice between your bowls. Enjoy! 

indian spiced no meat balls


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