Mutton Kofta Curry
These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.
1 lb ground mutton/lamb/beef/chicken [I use lean mince]
3 fat garlic cloves, grated
1″ fresh ginger shoot, grated
2 Thai green chiles, chopped finely
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold plain yogurt [slightly sour] to dip the koftas
For the Curry Sauce:
1/2 cup thick onion paste
1 fat garlic clove, grated
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder [If available else substitute with cayenne]
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder /cayenne [Adjust to taste]
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tbsp mustard oil [substitute with any oil of choice]
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
1″ cinnamon stick
4 pods green cardamom, break open
Required – A wide, heavy bottomed pot with lid big enough to layer the koftas in a single layer without having to stack on top of each other.
Making the Koftas/Meatballs:
Mix all the ingredients listed for the koftas except yogurt.Grease your palms & make medium balls of the mixture.I prefer to keep the size little.Do not make very big balls because the koftas swell while cooking.
Line the Koftas on a plate and refrigerate for at least 2 hours[Very imp step, do not miss]
Add 3-4 tbsp of water to the yogurt and thin it out if required.Keep refrigerated until you begin cooking.
Making the curry sauce:
In the pot, heat the oil on high heat. Once the oil is smoking, reduce the heat to medium.It is important to cook mustard oil to smoky point at the start of cooking to do away with the raw smell.
Add the onion paste along with the whole spices and cook on medium heat till golden brown in color.
Next,add the grated garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.Next add coriander, turmeric , chilli powders, salt and cook the spice mix on medium heat till you see oil separating at the sides of the pot.About 8-10 minutes.
At this point add 1.5 -2 cups of water to the pot, stir well cover with lid and let the gravy come to a boil on high heat.
Once the gravy is boiling,lower the heat to the minimum possible on your stove.Take out the refrigerated koftas, dip them in cold,thinned out yogurt one at a time and start tipping to the pot. Do not stack the koftas on top of each other, and do not overcrowd the pot because they will swell up as they cook.
After you have added all the koftas to the pot, add the yogurt [if remaining] to the pot too.Check the seasoning of the gravy at this point and adjust salt.
Cover the pot and let simmer.It takes about 20-25 minutes for the koftas to be fully cooked.Do not increase the flame/heat else the yogurt will cuddle.While they are simmering, you will need to come in between and gently stir the contents for even cooking,either stir using the handle of the pot or cover with lid,lift the pot wearing gloves in your hands and move the pot.Preferably, do not use spatula or spoon.
To check the doneness of the koftas- Take one out and cut it into half, if you see pink inside,more cooking is required.I usually cook the koftas totally, if you like rare or medium rare, adjust the cooking time.
At the end of cooking, you will see that the oil is floating on top of the pot & the gravy has thickened slightly.Adjust the consistency of the gravy at this point.If you are adding water, you will have to simmer the diluted gravy for extra 5 minutes.
Let the koftas rest for about 2-3 hours in the gravy for them to absorb flavors.I make them in the early to be eaten for dinner.The more they rest the more the flavor. Serve warm with roti or cumin rice.