Every so often I have a ‘curry day’ where I spend the entire day cooking curries, sides and numerous yoghurt based accompaniments like pachadis and raitas, because I am obsessed with yoghurt. I can’t remember where I first heard about this curry but I knew immediately I must have it because the koftas are basically like lamby scotch eggs simmered in a curry sauce, which also has yoghurt in it.
The eggs are hard-boiled, wrapped with a mixture of minced lamb, puréed onion and garlic, fried and then simmered in a masala sauce. The slightly sour, spiced yoghurt mixture is a perfect contrast against the rich protein bombs that are the koftas – boy, are they filling. We could only manage 1 each with all the other dishes and I wondered if quail’s eggs might be good instead of hen’s; a bit more bite size if a little more fiddly.
An amazing curry though; who doesn’t want egg wrapped in meat in spicy sauce? You don’t? Please leave.
Nargisi Kofta Curry
(a recipe was kindly sent to me by Maunika, but I couldn’t resist playing around with it).
For the koftas
250g minced lamb
1 medium onion, blended to a paste
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
Flour, for dusting the koftas prior to frying
For the masala
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
8 tablespoons natural yoghurt
Fresh coriander, to serve
Groundnut oil, for frying
Hard boil the eggs by putting them in a small saucepan, cover them with water, bring to the boil and then let bubble for about 6 minutes. Remove them from the water, put them in a bowl, cover them with cold water and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, mix the rest of the kofta ingredients together (not the flour) very well in a bowl. It is easiest to use your hands for mixing the meat. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove their shells. Divide the meat mixture into four then wrap each egg in the meat. An easy way of doing this is to spread the meat out in an oval shape on a piece of clingfilm, place the egg in the middle, then draw the clingfilm up around the sides of the egg. Make sure all the meat is sealed so there are no gaps where the egg is showing then roll each one in a little flour.
Heat a 1cm depth of groundnut oil in a heavy based pan then fry your koftas, turning them gently, until golden on all sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
To make the sauce, soften the onions in a 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring. Add the tomato paste and spices, then mix well and fry until the oil starts to separate from the masala. Add 250ml water and allow to cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt a tablespoon at a time. Add the koftas back to the pan, return to a low heat and cook gently for a few minutes, carefully turning the koftas over in the sauce to ensure they are heated through. Scatter with fresh chopped coriander and serve.