These were delicious—but you have to change the preparation method. Meatballs will never get nice and brown cooking in a liquid; they'll just turn gray. You need to brown them separately. I cut about half an onion in a fine dice for the meatballs, the rest in thin slices. Use cayenne pepper, not what Americans call chili powder: that's a Mexican spice blend that'll change the flavor. I added a clove of minced garlic and a bit of minced ginger to the meat mixture as well, and salt. I only used a ¼ tsp. of cloves, because they're so strong, but I probably could've gone with the full amount. For the sauce, I caramelized the onions; added the garlic, ginger, and spices and stirred for a minute or two. Then I added 2 c. water and the lentils (I used chana dal, but red lentils would cook faster). I didn't add the yogurt until the end, because I didn't want it to curdle; and don't add salt until the end of the cooking time, either. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender; add the half cup of water if you need it (I didn't). Meanwhile, shape the meatballs. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet, and brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside. When lentils are tender, stir in salt to taste and whisk in the yogurt. Don't let the yogurt boil, or it will curdle. (Full-fat yogurt works best.) Add meatballs just to warm them. I served this with brown rice, topped with chopped cilantro (aka fresh coriander), with naan on the side. For me, total prep/cooking time was about 1.5 hrs.
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These were delicious—but you have to change the preparation method. Meatballs will never get...