Meatball Heaven…

Yudhika's Lamb Meatballs or Koftas

Yudhika’s Lamb Meatballs or Koftas

I celebrated Spring with my family over the weekend…beautiful sunny days are here again. And what does a spring celebration call for…a few traditional South African braais! Well, after a week of grilled meat and salad, I have just about had enough. I am a spicy, saucy sort of cook and that is just what I was craving last night….a bit of spice and a lot of sauciness….I am talking about meatballs!

Meatballs are called koftas in India and the home-made ones are packed with flavour. A heavy sprinkling of fresh herbs like coriander and spring onion makes them explode with sensational aromas…the hint of green chilli tempts the taste buds and gets everyone asking for more!

This sauce can be served with burgers, or as a cook in sauce for eggs, fish, prawns and chicken. For a little bit of convenience you can prepare this in advance and the koftas are even tastier when they are left to marinate in the sauce for a while!

If you want to tickle some taste buds, this is just the recipe for you! I am heading straight to the kitchen to hunt for leftovers…a little bit of kofta can go a long way!

Lamb Koftas

1kg lamb mince
7,5ml fine salt
60ml finely chopped coriander
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
10ml crushed ginger
10ml crushed garlic
15ml red chilli powder
10ml ground coriander
5ml ground cumin
1 egg yolk
Sunflower oil, to fry koftas

For the sauce:
60ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
5ml crushed ginger
5ml crushed garlic
2 sprigs curry leaves
30ml Nan’s Lazy Day Masala
2 x 400g tins whole peeled tomatoes
Pinch of sugar, optional
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the lamb mince in a mixing bowl.
Season the mince with salt and then add the remaining ingredients.
Mix the mince well and then shape into koftas.
Heat an AMC Chef’s pan on medium and pour in a little oil.
Fry the koftas in batches until firm on the outside – do not fully cook them.
Remove from the pan and leave the cooked koftas aside.

To prepare the sauce:
Heat the sunflower oil in a 30cm AMC pot.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to splitter, add the chopped onion.
Sprinkle in the salt and saute until the onions turn a light golden brown.
Add the crushed ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
Add the Nan’s Lazy Day masala and stir for a few seconds.
Pour in the tinned tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break down the large pieces.
Simmer until the tomatoes break down completely and the sauce thickens.
Check the seasoning and sprinkle in the sugar if necessary.
Add the browned koftas to the sauce and then pour in 200ml boiling water.
Simmer on a low heat until the koftas are cooked through.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

When frying the koftas, take care not to over cook them. They should be firm to the touch so they do not break when simmered in the sauce.
Use 6 large fresh tomatoes instead of two tins of whole peeled tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes should be grated for this recipe.
This is best cooked in advance – the koftas taste better once they have been left in the sauce for a few hours.

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