Life. Love. Food

Matata Meatballs

Sometimes during a busy work week, all I think about is getting back to bed. I get so exhausted that alI think about be it during a break, in my fantasies, while in traffic, is that glorious moment I will finally sink into my cosy bed. I kid you not! With all that fatigue, it usually is difficult to whip up a saucy and memorable meal, hence I settle for whatever is left over, have my dinner and jump to bed.

During the weekends however, I try to break the monotony of the “weekday” meals with something exciting and tantalizing. This week I made my Matata meatballs that usher in the weekend in the most grand scale. Matata is a swahili word meaning disturbance. I named these meatballs ‘Matata Meatballs” because they sure do shake things up but in the most amazing way yet!

Trust me, you will have to eat this three days in a row before you get satisfied!


You can always buy ready-made meatballs from the supermarket, but I always like to make my own at home because I know exactly what is in it and I can add a lot more flavorful ingredients that will make them more tasty.

Without further ado, lets get down to business. Here is what you will need:

  1. 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  2. 1 tablespoon of cumin
  3. 3/4 tablespoon of black pepper
  4. 1 tablespoon of thyme
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  6. 5 garlic cloves
  7. 5  finely chopped ripe tomatoes
  8. 2  finely chopped onions
  9. 3 hoho ( one halved, two finely chopped)
  10. 1 large carrot
  11. finely chopped coriander
  12. 2 kg of ground beef

Do not be intimidated by this relatively long list. We shall go step by step and I want to to envision yourself doing this, with a smile, and you will see how easy it really is :-).

To make things easier for myself, I always prepare everything the day before I actually make the meatballs so that I do not get too tired and save enough energy to enjoy this meal. This will work for you too!

Pound or crush your garlic. Once it has turned into a paste, add half of  it to the minced beef. The other half will be used while cooking.

Then take the halved green bell pepper and grate it into the mixture. Make it as fine as you possibly can.

Then add all the spices at once. Mix the entire contents of the bowl until it is even through out. I like mixing with my hands because its easier to ensure everything is evenly spread out as opposed to using a spoon.

It should look something  close to this:

You may let this rest overnight before making your balls or you may start immediately, it really wont make a difference.

While rolling your balls, ensure not to have large cracks on the surface or they will come apart when you boil them. Make the surface as even as you can,but small cracks pose no harm so do not over-think the whole process. I like my meatballs to be bite size so I make mine medium sized.

Place them gently in your sufuria, they can touch but make sure they do not stick to each other because we want separate meatballs.

While adding the water for boiling, pour the water slowly, preferably lining the side of the sufuria so that they do not come apart. Boil them for about 30 minutes. Note that the boiling time may vary according to the size of your rolled balls, so make sure to cut one and test if its cooked through.

After you have confirmed that they are cooked, remove them from the heat and set them aside for the next exciting phase.

Put your onions in your sufuria, together with the remaining pound garlic and let them saute until the onions are soft. Be carefull not to burn the garlic because this will make everything bitter.

Add your chopped tomatoes (you can use grated tomatoes). Let them stay on the fire for about three minutes then add the tomato puree. The tomato puree is very important in this dish because it thickens the sauce, and gives it a deeper, richer color.

Add hot water to this mixture to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and also to increase the volume of the sauce. Preferably, add half-a-cup at a time so that the sauce remains thick does not get too diluted.

Then, put your meatballs in the tomato sauce and mix.

Add two tablespoons of Royco spice mix and 1 teaspoon of salt.

I usually mix my royco and salt in a small bowl with hot water before adding them to the sufuria. This allows it to mix faster and evenly with your dish and eliminates the possibility of biting into a ball of royco as you eat.

Let the meatballs simmer for 8 minutes then add your carrots. I chop mine really small because they not only look nice and neat, but they cook alot faster. After about 5 minutes add your finely chopped green bell pepper.

Smells soooooo gooooood at this point!!!!

Mix it all up. Put 3/4 of your finely chopped coriander mix and serve immediatelly. Leave the rest for your garnish.

Have your Matata Meatballs together with, rice, mokimo, mashed potatoes, spaghetti or with my all time favourite, Ugali.

I don’t know what has been in your tummy this weekend, but I do know that this should be IT! Doesn’t it look amazing?

Surprise your loved ones with these tantilizing, spicy juicy meatballs this weekend!

Till next time’


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Kaluhi's Kitchen Matata Meatballs

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  1. mwaragania sharon

    lovely piece!! i loove meatballs but i have never made them from scratch ill definitely try this recipe

  2. Janet Gardiner

    oh,,how much i looove your blog considering i just chanced upon it last week. Been here everyday ever since. would try this soon.

    • dianakaluhi

      That has just put a big smile on my face!
      Do let me know how it goes.

  3. Lydiah

    Now am making these meat balls tonite!! Gosh, I’ve never made meat balls from scratch. Thanks for sharing. I will be checking these dishes daily. You are the best!

    • dianakaluhi

      Superb! Let me know how it all goes

  4. Soroya

    Cooking for the future hubby. And i really want to try this hope it works, if i reduce the quantity of minced meat.. Should i reduce also the other quantities??

    • kaluhiskitchen

      And the future kiddies too 🙂 :D. To answer your question, yes. If you reduce or increase your minced meat, you will need to adjust the other quantities accordingly. The same way you would not put the same amount of sugar in one jug of milk as in one cup of milk. Adjust the quantities. This calls for judgment on your part, but do not over-think it, just estimate how much would work best for you.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      oh… and please let me know how it goes when you try this 🙂

  5. jayne

    Woow…this is what I’ve been looking for. I loove cooking but sometimes you get recipes that are too complicated…yours is really easy to follow and the ingredients are locally available. thanks a lot. trying this tonight.


    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Jayne, glad you found my post helpful and appealing. Did you give the meatballs a try? Did you enjoy them?

  6. maru wanjiru

    Tried this out over easter weekend. Too much fun and flavour. Loved it!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Wanjiru,
      I am glad you gave this a try…and even happier that you enjoyed it 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Cheers to great food

  7. Tabitha

    Hey again. so i tried this today and it was good…but when i boiled my meatballs(which were very hard to roll at first) they tokanad*
    any tips on what i did wrong?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Tabitha,
      May I ask, what did you find hardest about making the balls? maybe that may have contributed to them coming apart. Also, did they have cracks while rolling? because I know that contributes to the balls not holding together.

  8. festus

    Salivating as i read….na kwanza its lunch time. Ungekuwa an restaurant around Nrb i would be the customer to request for this leo..

    • kaluhiskitchen

      In good time…

  9. Pash

    I just bumped into your blog by chance and I must say I loove it already!
    I’m definitely going to try making meatballs from scratch using your recipe. …

    I sure will be dropping by to get some more tantalizing recipes.

    I loove your blog.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Pash 🙂 Karibu to the KK Fam!!!! Thankyou for the compliment. I am so happy that you enjoy my recipes.

  10. Lyn

    hi. what did you do with the half of the minced meat?? since you didnt add it while you were making the stew…..

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey lynn, I have read through the entire post and I have confirmed that I used the entire portion of the beef… Kindly review the post again, its all there :))

  11. Linet

    WOW I love this. I will come back with feedback ab=nd a photo of the outcome.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Totally looking forward to your feedback Linet! <3

  12. Mike

    Did a Google search and found this guide. They came out sooooo good.

    Thank you!!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      So happy you enjoyed this and even more happy you loved this one!!!

  13. Debra

    What is a hoho?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Green bell pepper

  14. Mair

    Will be having a party this Sato, want to try this, can I deepfry them instead of boiling??

    • kaluhiskitchen

      shallow fry

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