Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Nargisi Kofta Curry.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I have the best curry project for you today.
It's a nargisi kofta curry. It's one of those curries that I never thought I would ever be able to master. I mean, look at it! There's so much going on!


But, when I got down to trying and testing, I realised that it wasn't difficult at all. A little time consuming, yes, but not difficult. As I found, if you follow the recipe step-by-step and get the different stages of the curry done in the right order, things will work out.
Let's break the curry down. We start with the boiled eggs. I hate when some eggs have that grey ring around the yolk. So, I've perfected my own technique to getting the perfect boiled egg which is still creamy in the middle. Then, we go on to the lamb mince which is wrapped around our eggs. This mince is flavoured with a homemade spice mix and toasted gram flour. Again, not as complicated as it sounds, I promise.
Once the eggs have been wrapped in their mince blanket, we brown them before making a curry sauce. The sauce has a base of caramelised onions and yoghurt. The smell of those two cooking is one of the best smells ever to have come out of our kitchen at home. Once the sauce is done, the koftas go in to simmer. Twenty minutes later, the curry is done. See? Not that hard, was it? I think it'll be just the meal for a cosy Saturday at home.

Koftas, previously: sesame chicken meatballs + smashed chickpeas // chicken kofta curry // tunisian meatballs with harissa relish 

For the Nargisi Koftas:
1. Eggs
2. Gram Flour
3. Poppy Seeds
4. Cloves
5. Black Peppercorns
6. Cinnamon Stick
7. Black Cardamom
8. Lamb Mince
9. Salt
10. Fried Onions
11. Cumin Seeds
12. Red Chilli Flakes
13. Garlic Paste
14. Ginger Paste

For the Curry:
1. Vegetable Oil
2. Onions
3. Plain Yoghurt
4. Tinned Tomatoes
5. Ginger Paste
6. Garlic Paste
7. Salt
8. Ground Turmeric
9. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
10. Ground Cumin
11. Ground Coriander
12. Water


Bismillah, let's begin!


First, let's make our nargisi koftas. We'll start by boiling our eggs. Bring a pan of water to the boil.


Once the water is boiling, turn the heat right down and add in 3 large Eggs. Cover the pan with a lid and set a timer for 8 minutes. There are two eggs here but the lamb mixture is enough to wrap around three.


Once the timer goes off, drain and rinse the eggs under cold water.


Let the eggs cool completely before using them in the koftas.


Next, we're going to toast some gram flour to help bind our koftas later.


To a dry pan, add 3 heaped teaspoons Gram Flour and toast over a medium heat until it's golden and has a lovely roasted smell. Remove from the heat and cool until needed.

Next, we're going to grind together a few whole spices and seeds for our koftas. If you don't want to do this, replace the spice mixture with 1 teaspoon Garam Masala

I do highly recommend making this fresh spice mix though. Take 2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds, 3 Cloves, 8 Black Peppercorns, 1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick and 1 Black Cardamom.

Place them into a spice grinder. Speaking of grinders, this is actually a coffee grinder which we bought just to use for spices.

Grind everything to a powder and set aside until needed.

Next, it's time to blend together the kofta mixture. I prefer to use a food processor but you may do it by hand too.

Put in 400g (3/4 pound) Lamb Mince.

Along with the grinded spice mix OR 1 teaspoon garam masala.

Next, add in 1/2 teaspoon Salt (more, if you prefer).

I also threw in 2 tablespoons Fried Onions. We get these ready-made in a packet from the local cash and carry. If you haven't got these, you may add a small chopped and fried onion.

Next, in goes 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds.

1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Flakes

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste

And, 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste.

Pop the lid on to the processor.

Blend everything together!

Until the mixture comes together into a ball.

Scrape the mixture out into a bowl.

Add in the toasted gram flour from earlier.

Knead in the flour.

Once the flour has been mixed in, it's time to assemble the nargisi koftas. Peel the boiled eggs.


For one kofta, take about 3 tablespoons of the lamb mixture.


Flatten it out.


Place on 1 egg.

Gently wrap the lamb mince around the egg. You can add more lamb mince, if it's not enough. Seal the kofta and roll around in the palm of your hand until everything is well sealed.


Continue making the rest of the koftas. If you have any leftover lamb mince, roll them into smaller koftas.


The nargisi koftas will be quite big but that is just how they are supposed to be. And of course, the size of the kofta depends on the size of your eggs. I used large eggs so my koftas were on the bigger side.


Next, we're going to brown the koftas. Place a few tablespoons of vegetable oil into a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add in the koftas.


Don't move them around too much but instead baste them with the hot oil.


I do this by taking a spoon full of the the hot oil and pouring it over the koftas.


Once the koftas have been turned over once and are golden brown all over, remove them from the pan. We're not looking for the meat to be fully cooked at this point.


Continue browning the rest of the koftas.


Set aside until needed.


Next, it's time to make the curry sauce. We begin by peeling and slicing 2 large Onions.


Heat a few tablespoons of Vegetable Oil in a large pan which should be big enough to fit in all of the koftas. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions.


Cook the onions over a medium heat until they're a deep golden brown.


Then, scrape all the browned onions into a blender. I used a stick blender but any will do.


To the onions, add 5 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt.


And, blitz!


Blend together until you have a smooth mixture.


Next, we're going to put our onion paste back into the same pan. You can add a little more oil. I had oil leftover from browning the koftas so put that in - more flavour!


Pop the pan over a medium heat and add in the onion paste.


Give it a good stir-fry for a few minutes until it's golden brown and the oil has risen to the surface.


Like this!


Then, pour in 1/2 tin (200g) Tomatoes, blended.


Stir in the tomatoes and let them bubble for a minute or two.


Next, the seasonings. Add in:
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
1/2 teaspoon Salt (more, if you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (more, if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander


Stir-fry for a few minutes until the sauce is bubbling.

Add in the koftas.


Add in water, if you think the sauce is too thick.


Stir and bring to the boil. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the lamb mince is fully cooked through.


And with that, our curry is done!


To serve, I like to first place all the sauce into a bowl. Then, I slice the eggs in half and pop them on top. I ran out of fresh coriander (😢) so had to make do with sprinkling over some sliced chillies.


We ate the curry with hot, boiled rice but it would be just as good with naan or a quick pilau rice.


We also had some leftover daal on the side too!


I love this curry. It does take a while to make but is definitely worth the effort. The koftas are so tasty especially with the beautiful, creamy egg in the middle. And, the sauce! Blending the browned onions and yoghurt together before frying them off makes all the difference. Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Nargisi Kofta Curry.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Cook Time: About 40 minutes.
Serves: About 4 people.

Ingredients

For the Nargisi Koftas
3 large Eggs
3 heaped teaspoons Gram Flour
2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds
3 Cloves
8 Black Peppercorns
1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick
1 Black Cardamom
400g (3/4 pound) Lamb Mince
1/2 teaspoon Salt (more, if you prefer)
2 tablespoons Fried Onions
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
Vegetable Oil, to fry

For the Curry
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 large Onions, peeled and sliced
5 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt
1/2 tin (200g) Tomatoes, blended
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
1/2 teaspoon Salt (more, if you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (more, if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
Water, as needed

To make the Nargisi Koftas:

Boil the eggs. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat right down and add in the eggs. Cover with a lid and set a timer for 8 minutes. Then, drain and rinse under cold water. Let them cool completely before using in the koftas.

Toast the gram flour.Take a dry pan and place over a medium heat. Add in the gram flour and stir over the heat until golden. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Grind the spices. Place the poppy seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and black cardamom into a spice grinder. Grind until you get a powder. If you don't want to do this, replace with 1 teaspoon garam masala.

Blend together the kofta mixture. Into a food processor, place the lamb mince, the grinded spice mix or 1 teaspoon garam masala, salt, fried onions, cumin seeds, red chilli flakes, garlic paste and ginger paste. Blend together until everything comes together in a ball.

Knead the kofta mixture. Place the lamb mixture into a bowl. Add the toasted gram flour and knead in with your hands until well combined.

Make the nargisi koftas. Take 3 tablespoons of the lamb mixture in your hand. Flatten it out and place on an egg. Gently wrap the lamb around the egg. You can add more lamb mince, if it's not enough. Seal the kofta and roll around in the palm of your hand until everything is well sealed. Continue with the rest of the eggs. If you have leftover lamb, simply roll them into balls for mini koftas.

Brown the nargisi koftas. Place a few tablespoons of oil into a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add in the koftas. Don't move them too much but instead baste them with the hot oil until browned all over. We're not looking for the lamb to be fully cooked at this point. Remove from the pan and continue browning the rest. Set aside until needed.

To make the curry:

Make the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan which should be big enough to comfortably fit in all the koftas. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced onions and cook over a medium heat until they're a deep golden brown. Remove them from the pan and place into a blender along with the yoghurt. Blend until smooth.

Add a little more oil to the same pan. I used the leftover oil from browning the koftas. Add the onion paste back to the pan and fry it for a few minutes until it is a deep golden brown and the oil has risen. Stir in the blended tomatoes then add in the ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, red chilli flakes, cumin and coriander. Stir-fry for a few minutes until bubbling.

Make the nargisi kofta curry. Place the koftas into the sauce and add water, if you think the sauce is too thick. Stir and bring to the boil. Cover and cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. This will give time for the lamb mince in the koftas to fully cook.

Serve! Slice the koftas in half and serve them over boiled rice with the curry sauce. 

This Time One Year Ago:
chicken seekh kebabs.

This Time Three Years Ago:
chocolate and peanut butter cake slices.

This Time Four Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your curry!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

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