Delicious Cocktail Koftas

Madhur Jaffrey's koftas make a wonderful snack on cocktail sticks or are equally tasty served as a main with spicy tomato sauce
By Madhur Jaffrey
Delicious Cocktail Koftas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 30 meatballs and serves 6 for snacks, 4 for dinner for the meatballs
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 450 g minced lamb
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh, green coriander, very finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp natural yogurt

For the sauce

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2.5 cm cube ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp water, plus 300ml
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp bright red paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 100 g onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped (a small can of tomatoes may be substituted)
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Method

1. To make the meatballs: Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Dip your hands in water whenever you need to and form about 30 meatballs.

2. For the sauce, put the garlic and ginger into the container of a food processor or blender along with 4 tablespoons water. Blend until you have a paste. Put the paste in a bowl. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne. Stir to mix.

3. To make the sauce: Put the oil in a heavy, 23-25cm wide pan or frying-pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves. Stir them for 3-4 seconds. Now put in the onions and fry them, stirring all the time, until they are reddish-brown in colour. Turn the heat to medium and put in the paste from the bowl as well as the chopped tomatoes. Stir and fry this mixture until it turns a brownish colour. When it begins to catch, add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt. Stir and fry some more until the yogurt is incorporated into the sauce. Now add another tablespoon of yogurt. Incorporate that into the sauce as well. Keep doing this until you have put in all the yogurt. Now put in 300ml water and the salt. Stir and bring to a simmer.

4. Put in all the meatballs in a single layer. Cover, leaving the lid very slightly ajar, turn heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Stir very gently every 5 minutes or so, making sure not to break the meatballs. Towards the end of the cooking period, you should scrape the bottom of the pan just to make sure the sauce is not catching. If necessary, add a tablespoon or so of water. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium-low. Stir gently and cook until the meatballs have a browned look. All the sauce should now be clinging to the meatballs and there should be just a little fat left at the bottom of the pan.

5. When you are ready to eat, heat the koftas gently. Lift them out of the fat and shake off any whole spices that may be clinging to them. Stick a toothpick into each kofta if serving with drinks.

6. If you have these koftas for dinner, you could leave more of a sauce.

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