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Kofta (Meatball) Masala



For the koftas:

Large slice white bread
7 fluid ounces
Lean minced lamb
450gms(1 lb)
Garlic cloves – peeled and coarsely chopped
55ml (2 fl oz)
Fresh green chilli – coarsely chopped or deseed and chopped for milder flavour
Chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp
Fresh mint leaves – chopped
1 tbsp

Dried or bottled mint
1 tbsp
1 tbsp or to taste

For the sauce:

Cooking oil
5 tbsp
Medium onions – finely chopped
2 (225g / 8 oz)
Ginger paste
2 tsp
Garlic paste
2 tsp
Ground coriander
1 tbsp
Ground cumin
1 ½ tsp
Ground turmeric
½ tsp
Chilli powder
¼ tsp up to ½ tsp
Small can tomatoes
Warm water
150ml (5 fl oz)
½ tsp or to taste
Black cardamoms – split open the top of each pod
Whole cloves
2” piece cinnamon stick – broken up
1 piece
Bay leaf – crumpled
Thick set natural yoghurt
2 tbsp
Ground almonds
2 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp
To make the Koftas:       Soak the bread in the milk for a couple of minutes and squeeze out all the milk. Put the bread in a food processor with the remaining ingredients for the Kofta. Blend until smooth.

Divide the mixture into approx 24 balls, each slightly bigger than a walnut. Rotate each ball between your palms to make neat round Koftas. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the onions until they are just soft (about 5 minutes). Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder and stir quickly.

Now add the tomatoes, one at a time, along with a little juice, stir and fry until the spice mixture looks dry (2-3 minutes); continue the process until all the tomatoes are used.

Now add the water, salt, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and the bay leaves. Stir once and add the Koftas. Bring the liquid to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Beat the yoghurt with a fork until smooth, add the ground almonds and beat again - stir GENTLY into the curry. Cover and simmer until the Koftas are firm (about 10 minutes).

Stir the curry GENTLY and cover again and simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the thickened sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Stir in half the coriander leaves and remove from the heat. Serve garnished with the remaining coriander leaves.

Serve with cardamom rice or Naan/Tandoori Roti. Cauliflower or cabbage with Chick Pea Flour makes an excellent accompaniment.

Suitable for freezing. Defrost thoroughly before re-heating. To re-heat, simmer gently in a covered pan. Add a little water (2-3 tbsp) during re-heating to restore the gravy to its original consistency, stirring