Lamb Kofta With Tomato-Yogurt Curry Print Email

Serve with rice for a light meal.

½ large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small green chile, stems, seeds and ribs removed
2 pounds ground lamb (80 percent lean)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
½ to 1 cup water

Tomato-yogurt curry
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garam masala, plus more for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

To make meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the onions, ginger, garlic, cilantro and chile in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Place mixture in a large bowl. Add the lamb, cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, salt, panko and egg. Mix lightly but thoroughly with clean hands or a rubber spatula until combined. Slowly mix in about ½ cup water, or enough to make the mixture smooth with a loose consistency.

Divide the mixture into 24 1½- to 2-ounce portions and roll each into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until their internal temperature registers 165 degrees. Meanwhile, make the curry sauce.

To make tomato-yogurt curry: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom and cloves. Sauté the whole spices for about 1 minute to toast them and flavor the oil. Remove the spices and discard. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until beginning to brown.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, turmeric and pepper. Sauté until mixture takes on a reddish-brown color. Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the oil begins to separate.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Add the water and place the pan over medium-low heat. Slowly bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the garam masala. (For a smoother sauce, blend the sauce in a food processor or blender.) Add the meatballs to the curry and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with some chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of garam masala. Serves 6.
From chefs David Machado and David Anderson, Vindalho restaurant

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