Kofta Curry
By Shayma Saadat

Makes 4 servings

Meatballs

1/2 cup unsalted roasted chickpeas (found in Pakistani or Indian grocery stores)* or 1/4 cup chickpea flour

1/2 medium onion

1 1-inch length ginger, peeled and cut into 4 pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more if needed

1/4 tsp ground cayenne, plus more if needed

20 black peppercorns

1 lb medium ground beef (not lean, as it will prevent the meatballs from binding)

Tomato yoghurt sauce

3 tbsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cayenne

1/4 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet)

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1 small can (about 14 oz/398mL) crushed tomatoes

2 cups water

1/2 cup full-fat Greek yoghurt (non-fat yoghurt tends to curdle when cooked)

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more if needed

Kettle of boiling water

1 bunch fresh tarragon, cilantro or other herb of your choice

Make the meatballs: In a mortar and pestle, grind the chickpeas, in batches, to a fine powder (or use chickpea flour); set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the onion half and the ginger until a paste is formed. In a medium bowl, whisk together the onion and ginger paste, chickpea powder, egg, salt, cayenne, and the peppercorns. Do a taste test of the seasonings by frying a teaspoon of the mixture with a bit of oil in a frying pan. Add more salt and cayenne pepper, as needed.

Pinch off a piece of the ground beef mixture and gently roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball measuring about 1½-inches in diameter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture. You will end up with approximately 21 meatballs. Cover the meatballs with a clean tea towel and refrigerate while you make the tomato yoghurt sauce.

Make the sauce: In a small stockpot or large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the oil. Add the onion, stirring occasionally until it begins to turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and increase the heat to medium-high (be careful, as the mixture will sputter). Stir vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in the water, remove the pot from the stove, and allow to cool slightly.

Transfer the tomato sauce to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the pot. Add the yoghurt and salt, stirring until well combined. Gently place the meatballs into the pot, leaving some space between each meatball. Add enough boiling water from the kettle to just cover the meatballs. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 25 minutes. Gently turn over each meatball. Replace the lid and simmer for 20 more minutes. Taste and add salt, as needed. Sprinkle with lots of fresh tarragon or your favourite herb and serve alongside basmati rice or bread.

ET28 Entertaining Kofta Curry-th

 

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