Indian Chicken Pearl Balls

Here's another fusion twist on the Thai Pearl Ball recipe.

Indian Chicken Pearl Balls


  • 1 cup glutinous rice (also called sweet or sticky rice, available at Chinese or Asian markets). I used black, brown and a lovely green version that lost most of it's color while soaking but still showed a contrast next to the other two options.

  • 1 tablespoon of both black and white sesame seeds

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 2 large scallions (spring onions) minced (at least 3 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro/coriander chopped

  • 1 large egg white

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of toasted almonds or cashews, ground

  • 4 tablespoons of toasted coconut, ground

  • 1 teaspoon of Indian black salt or sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons Indian curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder or 1 tablespoon of grated, fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder

  • 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder

  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 teaspoon cornstarch, arrow root, or tapioca powder (or as needed for helping your rolled balls stay together better)

Raita Dip:


  • 1 cup Plain yogurt, unsweetened, Greek-style is ideal

  • 1/2 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon. cilantro (ie corinader) chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

  • 1/2 tsp mumin powder

  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • pinch of paprika for garnish


  1. Soak the glutinous rice in water preferably overnight, but for no less than 8 hrs.

  2. Drain well in a sieve or colander.

  3. Keep the ricesseparate in their own bowls. I find using a cereal bowl is best and helps with coating the balls on all sides. Note: Drain and cover the bowls with plastic wrap before making the pearl balls, so that the rice doesn't dry out too much.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, fish sauce, sherry, green onion, water chestnuts, salt, pepper, egg white and cornstarch.

  5. Prepare the steamer for steaming. Line the bottom of your metal or bamboo steamer with lettuce or cabbage leaves.

  6. Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap for the formed balls to rest on.

  7. Take about 1 tablespoon of the ground chicken mixture and form into a ball with slightly damp hands.

  8. I find it's easier to form all of the balls at once and then coat them in the rice.

  9. Mix the black sesame seeds with the light colored rice and the light sesame seeds with the purple sticky rice for contrast.

  10. Roll the chicken balls lightly over the glutinous rice and place on a plate to await steaming.

  11. Continue with the rest of the chicken mixture, you may have left over rice. If so keep in mind it has come in contact with raw chicken so discard it or add it to soup the next day and cook well.

  12. Place the rice and sesame-covered balls in your steamer in a single layer.

  13. Cover and steam the pearl balls over boiling water for between 15 - 25 minutes, until they are cooked through. You may find that using brown sticky rice requires a slightly longer cooking time. Steam in two batches if needed.

  14. Serve the pearl balls hot with the chilled raita sauce.


  • Serve with mango chutney vs raita.

#chicken #groundchicken #pearlball #rice #stickyrice #soysauce #indianfood #ginger #scallion #steamed #lowfat #wholegrains #healthycarbs #curry #coconut #raita #cucumberyogurtsauce #fusion #indianfusion

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