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Kofta ( Indian Meatballs )

Madhuri.Dixit's picture
Ingredients
For meatballs
  Meat 2 Pound, finely ground. put meat twice through fine blade of grinder / through butcher (From A Leg Of Lamb / Chuck Beef)
  Salt 3⁄4 Teaspoon
  Freshly ground pepper 1⁄4 Teaspoon
  Garam masala 1 Tablespoon
  Ground coriander 1 Teaspoon
  Ground cumin 1⁄2 Teaspoon
For stuffing
  Garlic 2 Clove (10 gm), peeled and minced
  Fresh ginger piece 1 Inch, peeled and minced (1 Inch Square)
  Scallions/1 medium sized onion 6 , peeled and minced
  Lemon juice 3 Tablespoon
  Salt 1 Dash
  Freshly ground pepper 1 Dash
  Vegetable oil 7 Tablespoon (For Browning The Meatballs)
  Cinnamon stick 2 Inch (1 Piece)
  Dried red peppers 2
  Whole cardamom pods 4
  Whole black peppercorns 6
  Whole cloves 4
For sauce
  Vegetable oil 2 Tablespoon (Adjust Quantity As Needed To Make Up 5 Tablespoons)
  Onions 4 Medium, peeled and coarsely chopped
  Garlic 6 Clove (30 gm), peeled and coarsely chopped
  Ginger piece 1 Inch, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 Square)
  Ground coriander 2 Tablespoon
  Ground cumin 2 Teaspoon
  Ground turmeric 1 Teaspoon
  Canned tomatoes 2 Medium, drained and chopped
  Paprika 1 Tablespoon
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Chopped chinese parsley 1 Tablespoon (Coriander Greens / Cilantro, For Garnish)
  Onion 1 , peeled and fried in rings (For Garnish)
  Ground cardamom 1⁄4 Teaspoon (For Garnish)
Directions

Mix all the ingredients for meatballs and keep covered in a bowl.
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing in another bowl.
Preparing the koftas takes a little time, so you might as well make yourself comfortable.
If you have a table and chair in your kitchen, sit down there.
Otherwise, spread a newspaper on any handy table and pull up a chair.
Place before you the bowls of ground meat and stuffmg, a platter with a cover, and a bowl of warm water.
Two pounds of meat will make about 48 koftas about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
To simplify, portion the meat into 8 equal sections and then make 6 koftas out of each section.
Pick up enough meat for one kofta and form into a rough ball.
Depress the ball and place a generous pinch of stuffing in its center.
Cover the stuffing by bringing around the meat from the outer edges and making it into a ball again.
Smooth out the ball by moistening your palms and fingertips slighdy and by working it in your hand.
As each ball is made, place it on the platter and cover.
Continue this way until you have used up all the meat and stuffing.
Heat the oil in a 10-12-inch skillet over medium heat, and put in the cinnamon, red peppers, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves.
Stir once.
In 10 seconds or so when the cloves begin to expand and the red pepper swells and turns dark, add the meatballs, just enough of them so they don't overcrowd the skillet.
Brown them on all sides, remove with slotted spoon, and return to platter.
(Remember, you are just browning die koftas, not cooking them through.) When all the koftas are browned, cover the platter and set aside.
The last step is making the sauce: Lift out the whole spices from the oil used for browning the koftas and place them with the koftas.
Pour the oil into a very large and wide heavy-bottomed pot.
Add more oil, if needed, to make 5 tablespoons.
Place the chopped onions, garlic, and ginger in a blender with 4 tablespoons water and blend at high speed until it becomes a smooth paste.
Heat the oil, then pour in the paste from" the blender.
Fry over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and keep frying another 5 minutes.
If the spices stick at the bottom of the pan, add 1 teaspoon of warm water at a time and keep stirring.
(Never put too much water in.
The idea is to fry the spices and onion, not to boil them.) Add the chopped tomatoes, and continue to stir and fry 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon water, cover pan, and let the tomatoes simmer 3 to 5 minutes, lifting the cover two or three times to make sure they are not burning.
Remove cover, stir again, and fry for 1 more minute.
Now add 1 1/2 cups water, the koftas, the spices used in frying meatballs, the paprika, the garatn masala, and the teaspoon of salt.
Mix gently, and bring to a boil.
Cover, and simmer slowly for half an hour.
To serve: gently spoon out the koftas into a heated serving dish, taking care not to break them.
Stir the sauce and pour it over them.
Sprinkle the parsley on top.
This dish can be served with plain boiled rice, moong dal, and a cucumber and tomato salad, at its simplest.
(As a child I used to love this combination.
On Sundays, we very often substituted Karhi for the dal.) At a banquet, you could garnish it with vark and serve it with Chicken Biryani, Carrots and Peas with Ginger and Chinese Parsley, and Yogurt with Spinach.
At picnics, it goes well with stale pooris or parathas and pickles.
Made a little smaller, the koftas can be served with drinks.
Warn diners not to eat the whole spices, but to leave them delicately at one side of their plate!

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
Indian
Course: 
Main Dish
Method: 
Stewed
Ingredient: 
Meat

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