While I am enjoying some summer playtime with my family, several of my favorite food bloggers are sharing their talents with you. Please welcome Prerna of Indian Simmer. While she lives in the United States with her husband and little girl, Prerna grew up in central India. She is a wonderful teacher and makes Indian food very accessible, walking us through the ins and outs of the various spices and techniques. Check out her Homemade Naan post to see what I mean. Not only does she write about tantalizing recipes, such as this Lamb Kofta (Meatball) Curry, but her photos are stunning.
More than excitement, it was humbling when Dara one day wrote an email to me asking to guest post for her. She has been a very good friend for some time now and to know her is to love her! One of the most talented cooks I know who is always working hard to bring the best to her readers. So while she is away with her family on a much deserved vacation, I am honored to be here on Cookin’ Canuck. Thanks, Dara for letting me do this!
I made some malai kofta on my blog a while back. People loved it but that was a vegetarian version and so my carnivore friends felt a little left out with that. I got emails asking for a meaty kofta curry. When Dara demanded the same thing I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to make some. So I am here sharing the recipe for my mom’s Lamb Kofta Curry. Don’t even get intimidated with the name because this is nothing but an Indian version of meatballs. Meatballs cooked in a creamy and spicy curry sauce. A few ingredients or spices must be different but the comfort and warmth you get with those meatballs you will find the same here.
Kofta is hindi name for meatballs. In this case I am using ground lamb to make koftas but you can definitely use any meat of your liking. Cooking time will change according to the kind of meat you are using. Now the curry sauce is prepared the same way as you do in any other Indian curry with onion, ginger and garlic as the base. Then later different spices are added to form layers of flavors that burst in your mouth. But in this case there’s a simple ingredient which gives it a little twist. Cashews. Cashews are blanched and then ground into a smooth paste, mixed with some heavy cream and is added to the curry at the end. This gives the sauce its creamy and rich taste.
Another ingredient that I try never to miss when I am making a mughlai dish is kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Don’t ask me why. If you find it, just throw a couple tablespoons in there and that earthy taste in your curry sauce will tell you why. Its super inexpensive. You can find it at any Indian store for maybe a couple bucks and it lasts me forever. So if you can find it put it, if you can’t then no worries the earth will still survive! Alright so here’s the recipe for Lamb Kofta Curry.
- For the kofta (meatballs):
- 1½ lbs ground lamb
- 1 tbsp minced green chili (you can use jalapeño as well)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (use 1 tsp each of powdered ginger and garlic if you don’t have the paste. I also chop fresh ginger and garlic if I don’t have the paste)
- 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes. (It helps in binding and keeping the meatballs soft)
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- For curry sauce:
- 1 cup chopped onion paste
- 1 ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ cups tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tbsp garam masala
- 1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
- 1 ½ tbsp kasuri methi (optional)
- ⅓ cup cashews (blanched and turned into a paste)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ tbsp. cooking oil plus 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- For the meatballs: Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs.
- Wet your hands and make small lime-sized balls out of them. Put them on a baking sheet, cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour and, at most, 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes. You can also deep fry them like traditionally koftas are made or can boil them directly with the sauce until they are cooked through. Now I don’t deep fry because you know, my waist doesn’t let me do that and sometimes boiling in the sauce can break the balls if they are not bind properly, so I bake.
- For the sauce, heat oil and ghee in a thick bottom pan.
- Add onion, ginger and garlic paste and cook them until all the liquid in the paste evaporates. The whole beauty of curry is in this stage, how well you fry your onion paste. So cook it slowly on a medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Once the paste turns golden brown add cumin powder, salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper and coriander powder. When you add the dry ingredients it starts to burn quickly so stir it all together to mix well and add tomato puree.
- Cook the puree until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Then add cashew paste and cream, and cook some more. You will see oil on the edges then add garam masala and kasuri methi.
- Mix it together and throw in all the meatballs (also the drippings in the baking dish).
- Turn the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for a nice 6-8 minutes.
- I usually let my curry rest for 15-20 minutes after its done and before serving. My dad says it helps all the spices marry together and the dish tastes better. Serve with hot naan/roti or rice.