It’s Spring!  Although last week felt more like summer and next week is meant to feel like winter… but according to the calendar, it is Spring, officially!  So let’s celebrate with some lamb, glorious, lamb 🙂  I really do think it’s my favourite red meat, and not just because roast lamb is an excuse to eat mint sauce… Of all the ways to cook it, though, this is a favourite.

Curry and lamb work so well together, and what I love about this curry is how wonderfully aromatic it is.  And like so many curries, all the hard work is up front, but the meatballs are so deliciously moreish that it’s worth all the prep work, and then some!

The original recipe is from an old and much splattered copy of Delicious.  The version I’m sharing is tried and tested and adapted to make prepping a little lazier, but no less tasty for it.

Lamb Kofta Curry
Serves 4
A glorious and unabashedly aromatic curry that'll win over even those people who don't (usually) eat lamb. There won't be any leftovers!
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You’ll need
  1. 1 tsp ground coriander
  2. 1 tsp ground cumin
  3. 2 tsp ground turmeric
  4. 2 tsp garam masala
  5. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  6. 4 medium onions, finely chopped
  7. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 2 medium-hot red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  9. 2.5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
  10. 2 tbsp tomato purée
  11. 1 pint/500ml lamb stock, hot
  12. 7.5cm piece cinnamon stick
  13. 6 cloves
  14. 8 green cardamom pods, cracked open
  15. 50g creamed coconut (Bart’s do four individual sachets in a box, which I can highly recommend)
  16. 500g lean lamb mince
  17. 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
  18. 1 medium egg, beaten
  19. Sunflower oil for cooking
  20. Salt for seasoning
  21. Boiled rice
  22. 2 dried curry leaves, crumbled (optional)
Prep before you start
  1. Finely chop the onions, mince the garlic and grate your ginger (fifi's top tip - don't forget to use frozen ginger to make grating the stuff so much easier!) Get those CSI gloves on and de-seed and finely chop the red chillies, then remove the gloves carefully and set aside as you’ll need them again later. Measure out your spices into a small bowl – coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper.
  1. Heat some oil in the stewpot before adding the onions and garlic, and fry gently for 7-10 minutes until they are lightly browned.
  2. Then add the red chillies, spices and a little salt, and cook gently for another 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and remove half the fried onion mixture to the mixing bowl and leave it to cool. Leave the other half in the stewpot as this will form the base of your sauce.
  4. While things are cooling, finely chop up the fresh coriander.
  5. Once the fried onion mixture is cool, add the lamb mince, chopped coriander, beaten egg and a little salt into the mixing bowl with it. Get those CSI gloves back on, and then use your hands to mix everything in the bowl together (fifi's top tip - vinyl gloves will save your hands from succumbing to the spices and turning a not very fetching shade of yellow!)
  6. Now, if you want to check the seasoning of the lamb and spice mixture, cook a wee bit in the frying pan and taste. Adjust seasoning if you think it needs it. Once you've made these a few times you may not feel the need, or want, to do this bit. I don’t any more 🙂
  7. Roll the lamb and spice mixture into meatballs, about golf ball sized, and set them onto a baking tray. Once you’ve made them all, pop the tray into the fridge for about half an hour to firm the meatballs up a little.
  8. Take the meatballs out of the fridge and heat some oil in a heavy-based saucepan before frying off the meatballs – it usually takes me about 3 batches as I don’t like to crowd the pan. You just want to seal the meatballs and get a little colour on them, not cook them through. Place the fried off meatballs onto some kitchen roll to blot the worst of the grease.
  9. While you’re frying off the meatballs, it’s time to get the sauce going. Add the ginger, tomato purée, lamb stock, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, coconut (and curry leaves if you’re using them) to the remaining onion chilli spice mix in the stewpot and bring it all up to a gentle simmer.
  10. When all the meatballs are fried off, drop them gently into the simmering sauce. Partially cover with the lid, and then simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring gently every now and then. After this, the sauce should have reduced and thickened a little, and the meatballs should have set.
  11. If you’re planning to freeze and eat later, this is where you should turn the heat off, spoon the lot into a plastic container and leave to cool before putting it in the freezer.
  12. If you’re planning to eat it now (or reheating what you’ve thawed out), put the lid on the stewpot and let it simmer away for another 15-20 minutes. If it’s looking a little watery, I crank the heat right up for a couple of minutes or until sauce is looking more robust.
  13. Serve with boiled rice, and garnish with some fresh coriander. I defy you to leave any meatballs standing…
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
Adapted from Delicious Magazine