Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lamb Kofta Curry

Minced meat or kheema is a favorite amongst most meat eaters. There are numerous ways of cooking this chewy shred of meat but kofta, shaami or the hyderabadi shikampur remain popular. I had tasted meatballs (kofta both in the dry and the gravy form) but always considered the gravy version difficult to cook. I would fear that the balls would break resulting in a mushy inedible paste. The book "Hajra's recipes of life, for life", about which I blogged a while back had a simple and clear recipe that seemed fool proof , so I decided to give the kofta curry a shot.

The key to creating firm kofta I learned was the no water rule in the kofta making and the use of roasted gram dal that gives the required binding.

I followed the recipe to the T and have made this dish two time around, to achieve perfect results both times.


500 gms mutton minced ( kheema)
2tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
7-8 green chillies
5 almonds blanched
1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 pinch turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup husked bengal gram dal / chana dal roasted and powdered
1-2 tbsp yogurt (optional

2 medium onions finely chopped
2 medium potatoes quartered ( I skipped this)
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 medium tomatoes pureed
1 cut yogurt
Juice of a lime
few strands of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk


1. Wash the mince and squeeze out the water completely, by clenching handfuls in batches. This is really important to ensure that the koftas do not break.

2. Blend coriander leaves, green chillies, almonds, garlic paste, onions, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala powder, salt in a food processor to make a paste, do not add water. Add a yogurt if too dry.

3. Add the mince mutton in to this mix and grind for a short turn only to ensure that its mixed with the paste.

4. Add the powdered gram and mix well

5. Make 2" balls and spread on a steel plate/platter

Gravy / Curry

1. Take a wide flat bottomed non stick cooking vessel. Add oil and fry the onions to a golden brown.

2. Add ginger and garlic when the onion is at the translucent stage and fry with a few sprinklings of water for 5 mins or so

3. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking till oil emerges from the sides

4. Add whisked yogurt gently and cook fo r 5 mins

5. Add some water and bring the gravy to boil. Place the meatballs gently carefully in the gravy , make sure they are well spaced, the gravy should just about be covering the balls. Cook on moderate heat without disturbing.

6. Add the lime juice and saffron and continue cooking to achieve the desired consistency.

7. Serve hot with naan or rice.