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This is my recipe derived from an Indian recipe that only suggested ingredients. I have experimented with this recipe since about 1958. This is its present incarnation.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 lb good quality ground beef (minced) or 1 lb ground lamb or 1 lb lean ground mutton or 1 lb ground goat meat, could be substituted
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup very finely chopped onion
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cassia cinnamon (or up to 1/2 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom (try substituting black cardamom or a blend of green and black for a different flavor)
- 1 pinch salt
- telicherry black pepper (4-6 grinds)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- flour, for your hands
- vegetable oil, to the depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch in a small skilet
FOR THE GRAVY (CURRY)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- fresh green chile, for a hot curry, one (or more)
- ground cayenne pepper, for a milder curry, 1 pinch to 1/8 tsp
- fresh coconut milk (if you know how to get it, it is not just the liquid in the center of an unspoiled coconut!) or 16 ounces canned thai coconut milk (Never use sweetened coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh ginger (substitute if you must) or 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger (substitute if you must)
- 1 -1 1⁄2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (substitute yellow mustard seed if necessary)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground tellicherry black pepper
- 2 to 4 key limes, juice of (key limes, mexican, or persian)
Condiments and Accompaniments
- 1 cup white basmati rice, to be served with the kooftah curry
- chutney, selection of (Major Grey's and other mango chutneys)
- indian pickle (s)
- sultana (golden raisins)
- shredded sweetened coconut
- pine nuts
- Using a morter and pestle (such as Thai green granite) or a small blender, grind the green chilis (if used) or cayenne, ginger, fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard seed, pepper, salt and lime juice into a curry paste.
- Soak the Basmati rice for about 30 minutes befre cooking.
- Begin to cook the rice at about the time you start to cook the meatballs.
- Mix the meat, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, garlic, onion and egg into a stiff paste.
- With floured hands, form the meat paste into round balls about the size of a walnut.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs over moderate heat to a light brown.
- Remove the meatballs from the fat and drain them on paper towels or a rack.
- Add the chopped onion for the curry gravy in the fat remaining in the skillet and fry it until it is just soft, then add the curry paste and cook for five minutes.
- Then transfer the fried curry paste and onion mixture to a pot and add the coconut milk.
- Stir very well over medium heat while bringing the curry gravy to a simmer.
- Then add the meatballs and simmer them in the gravy (curry) for 30 minutes.
- It is recommended that you serve this dish with fried Poppadoms, Rasmati rice, a select assortment of chutney and pickles, shredded coconut, sultanas (golden raisins), and pine nuts, all arranged in small side dishes.