This Gluten Free Meatball Recipe is known as Kanda in the Central African Republic. It’s made with ground beef and a special ingredient…. Pumpkin seeds! Serve these up the traditional way (with onion tomato sauce) or on a bed of pasta with pasta sauce! Either way, this Gluten Free Meatball Recipe (kanda) is delicious!
Hello Reader! I try my hardest to research recipes as best as I can before posting to ensure I am representing each culture correctly. If this recipe is from your country and I have made a mistake or you have suggestions for how to make it more authentic, I would love to hear! Please leave a comment below letting me know what should be different, and I will rework the recipe. It is always my intention to pay homage and respect to each cultural dish that I cook. Thanks for reading!
If you like experimenting with foods, this is a great recipe for you to try! Who doesn’t like a good meatball?? Seriously, no one. Not a soul.
Meatballs are a good, classic favorite. So if you want to try some global experimentation in your kitchen without TOO big of a risk, this is the recipe for you.
Kanda is a recipe that, so far, I’ve only seen a variation of from the Central African Republic. This kanda recipe feature pumpkin seeds ground into a powder. In this recipe we mix the pumpkin seeds with beef to make delicious and simple meatballs.
In the Central African Republic, there’s also another form of kanda called Kanda ti nyma, which, instead of pumpkin seeds, is made with okra and peanuts.
What is in this Recipe for Gluten Free Meatballs?
For full measurements and instructions, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
How to Make Kanda
In a food processor or blender, grind the pumpkin seeds to a powder.
Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and grind until fully combined.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
Roll the mixture into meatballs about the size of golf balls. Place them in the pan, and use tongs to turn them as they cook, ensuring that they brown on all sides and cook through. It will take about 15 or so minutes.
You may need to cook them in two batches.
Serve with whatever sauce you’d like.
How to Serve your Gluten Free Meatball Recipe
The traditional way to make this gluten free meatball recipe is by placing the meatballs in a tomato and onion sauce. You can even serve it with rice!
The way that we served them in my family was to put them over a bed of spaghetti noodles. The next day, we served them just with a side of pasta sauce, similar to how they’re enjoyed in the Central African Republic. Both days they were deeelicious, and definitely a do-over meal in my house!
If you liked this recipe, you might also like:
- Canadian Poutine with Beef Gravy
- Loc Lac (Beef Stir Fry) from Cambodia
- Gyuveche (Beef Casserole with Cheesy Potato Topping) from Bulgaria
- Thai-Inspired Meatball Soup
Kanda (Gluten Free Meatballs)
- 1 lb ground beef meat
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic
- ¾ tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- ½ cup Cold water
- In a food processor or blender, grind the pumpkin seeds to a powder.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and grind until fully combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
- Roll the mixture into meatballs about the size of golf balls. Place them in the pan, and use tongs to turn them as they cook, ensuring that they brown on all sides. It will take about 15 or so minutes.
- You may need to cook them in two batches.
- Serve with whatever sauce you’d like.