Friday, June 24, 2011

Lamb Kofta Curry

Indian Curries Special
Tonight's Menu
Lamb Kofta (Shahi Kofta Curry)
Green salad
Wine Pairing: Sparkling wines, Pinot Noir
Lamb Koftas simmering in the gravy
It is the eve of IIFA 2011 awards in Toronto and the city is alive with bollywood stars. What better way to start your weekend than sampling one of the royal culinary excellence -- the shahi kofta curry.
Meatballs in curry sauce is more commonly known in India as Shahi Kofta curry or Lamb kofta curry. Small fried dumplings of minced lamb are cooked with aromatic gravy to blend the flavors together. Sometimes small raw lamb koftas are immersed in boiling curry sauce to cook them while the gravy thickens. This version is definitely lighter and is a good technique if you plan to cook this dish more often. But for special occasions and to try the authentic flavor you have to either fry the meatballs, or bake them before adding to the gravy.
Lamb kofta curry has a definite influence of mughal cuisine and is thus considered a shahi or royal dish. Use of aromatic spices and nuts makes for a very different and rich flavor. Serve with naan or cumin rice along with green salad to complete the meal.
While pairing wines with spicy curried Indian foods, acid and alcohol levels should be balanced. More complex the meal, less complex your wine should be (in terms of acid, tannins and after taste). Look for wines that are more fruity, are lower in acid and tannins and have a mild sweetness. One thing that is not debatable is that beer (cold beer) and Indian food go very well together. So if you are not picky about your drink just have beer with this meal.

Shahi (lamb) Kofta Curry

Ingredients: (serves 4)
For the koftas

1 lb minced lamb
1/2 red onion chopped fine
1 egg
2 green chillies chopped
bunch fresh coriander chopped
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
bread crumbs (just enough to bind the mixture)
salt, a little bit
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
oil for deep frying
For the gravy
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp whole spices(cumin, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon)
1 onion chopped fine
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp almond or cashew nut powder
turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
chilli powder
salt to taste
1/3 cup tomato puree
  1. Mix all the ingredients together for the koftas. Make sure the mixture is not too soft as it might break while frying. Add just enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture. From this point you have three options-- 
  2. Option 1 -- this is the no fry option. Shape into small 1/2 inch balls and keep aside to cook in the gravy. 
  3. Option 2 -- shape into 1 inch balls and spray well with oil. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Keep aside. 
  4. Option 3 -- shape into 1 inch balls and deep fry on medium high heat till golden. Drain and keep aside. 
  5. Gravy -- In a deep pan heat oil and add the whole spices and let cook for 10 seconds. Add onion and ginger garlic paste and cook on medium high stirring often till it turns golden brown. Now add all the spices and nut powder and cook on low stirring constantly till the mixture leaves oil from the side. With the nut powder its very susceptible to burn so be on top of it. Add tomato puree and cook again till oil comes out from the side. 
  6. For Option 1 -- Add a cup and a half of water and bring to a rolling boil. Do not reduce the heat and carefully add the raw meatballs in the boiling liquid. Continue to cook on high for 5-7 minutes till the meat balls cook and gravy thickens to the desired consistency. Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped coriander. 
  7. For Option 1 and 2 -- Add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the fried or baked koftas and cook in the gravy for 5 minutes to let them soak the flavors. Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped coriander.


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