Oh boy, did this dish turn out well!
I made Italian meatballs a few weeks back, and you can check out that recipe here. However, this time I decided to make INDIAN meatballs for the first time. While half my meatballs came apart in the sauce, the other half stayed together, and when it was all said and done, it was the spices and the sauce that made the dish. I could have cared less if the meatballs stayed together. It all ended up in the same place—in my belly!
“Kofta” basically means meatball or some other sort of mixture shaped into a ball. There’s a spinach kofta I might post on here sometime, but for now, onto the recipe, because that’s what you’re waiting for, right?
- 1 medium onion
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 serrano peppers, minced
- 1 egg, preferably pastured/organic
- 1 lb ground lamb
Grate onion, put it in a sieve and use a spoon to press out as much of the liquid as possible. I cannot underestimate this step.
***SIDE NOTE: If you don’t feel like grating (I always seem to hurt myself) just throw the onion in your food processor, blender, or VitaMix and puree it!
Throughly combine all ingredients in a bowl. Then divide into 20 equal portions or balls roughly an inch in diameter. Set on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Sometimes I have trouble marinating or remembering to prepare something for later. But making the kofta literally took about 10 minutes, so if the 2 hour refrigeration time scares you (like it does me) just tell yourself to DO it! It really doesn’t take a lot of time. If you forget and don’t have two hours to refrigerate, you can cheat and put them in the freezer while you make the sauce. They should be firm enough by then.
Tomato and Yogurt Sauce
- 2 tsp coriander (buy here)
- 2 tsp cumin (buy here)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (buy here)
- 1/4 tsp cloves (buy here)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom (buy here)
- 2 TBSP coconut oil (buy here)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp ground turmeric (buy here)
- 1 tsp paprika (buy here)
- 1 tsp garam masala (buy here)
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
In a deep dish skillet or large pan, dry roast the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom until aromatic. Then add coconut oil and finely chopped onion. Saute the onion with the spices until a lovely golden brown color. Then add the turmeric, paprika, and garam masala.
Fry for about 30 seconds, then stir in chopped tomatoes. Remove from heat and slowly stir in yogurt.
I highly recommend raw homemade yogurt for it’s rich flavor, but then again, I’m biased. Here’s a picture of Frank making more yogurt while I make the sauce for the kofta. Isn’t he cute?!
Anyway, moving on. After you incorporate the yogurt, return the pan to the heat, slide in the chilled meatballs, bring to a boil, and simmer for one hour, UNCOVERED, over low heat. You may need to turn the kofta every now and again to make sure they don’t stick. If, during cooking, the sauce dries out, add a tablespoon of water or raw milk, as needed, and continue to cook for the full hour. Be patient! It’s totally worth it for the flavor-heaven that awaits you!
One of the biggest challenges for me as I learned to cook Indian dishes was the waiting. Indian food is pretty easy to make. It’s the waiting that’s hard!
Garnish with cilantro, if you so desire. If you make this, let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!!