Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken Kofta Curry (Indian Meatball Curry)

In honor of the Indian celebration Diwali (Festival of Lights) today, I made this Indian Style Chicken Kofta Curry.  I really loved this Kofta Curry.  I usually make my curry dishes with a pre-made curry powder, but this time I roasted and ground my own spices to make this dish.  It was a very easy extra step, but totally worth it.  The extra burst of flavor the fresh ground spices gave was fantastic.  I served the Kofta curry over rice and lentils and I was a very happy camper once I took this picture because I was able to dig in.  Mmmmmm! 

For the Kofta/meatballs:
1lb of ground lean meat (I used chicken)
1/2 white onion grated
10-15 leaves of mint minced finely
1/2 Tbs of Garam Masala
2-3 cloves of grated garlic
Salt and pepper to taste (I used Lawry's seasoning salt)

For the Curry Sauce:
1 1/2 onions sliced
10-20 curry leaves
2Tbs of garlic ginger paste (or 1Tbs of grated garlic and 1 Tbs of grated ginger)
1 cup of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tsp of paprika
1 cup of cream (or half and half) *I used half and half
1 tsp of Garam Masala
3 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick (about 1inch long)
1 cup of water or chicken broth (I used the equivalent of water and bullion)
salt to taste
1Tbs of coriander seeds (roasted and ground)
1 tsp of cumin seeds (roasted and ground)
1-4 whole dried red chilies (make the spice level to your taste)-(roasted and ground)

Put your sliced onions, some curry leaves and a little salt in a hot pan with 1-2 Tbs of canola oil. Cook on medium heat until they start to brown and soften.  This step will take about 8-10 minutes.  I recommend you do this step first so it can cook on the stove while you get the meatballs prepared.

*After the onions fry, remove to a plate and use the same pan to cook your meatballs and curry.

For the meatballs, add your ground meat, 1/2 a grated onion, garam masala, salt/pepper, garlic and mint leaves in a bowl and mix well.  Form into any size meatballs you desire. I made large golf ball size meatballs.

Add one more tablespoons of canola oil into your pan and brown your meatballs. **They do not have to be fully cooked because they will finish off in the curry.

Next add your garlic and ginger and the sauteed onions back into the pan with the meatballs.

Here is the step that I think really made this dish sing--the roasted spices. In a dry pan roast your coriander seeds, cumin seeds and whole dried red chilies until fragrant on medium heat.  Careful not to burn (**if you can smell the roasted spices then they are are done).  Then put the roasted spices into a spice grinder and grind until they are powdered.  *Do not use the grinder you use for coffee for this job... otherwise, you may have some bad tasting coffee later. : )

Now add your roasted spices, 1/2 tsp of Garam Masala, paprika, salt into the pan. Saute for a minute with the meatballs.

Then add the 1 cup of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of water and chicken bullion or chicken broth. Bring the pan to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes.

Finally add your 1 cup of whole milk, cream or half and half.  Bring to a boil for 2 more minutes.  Taste for seasoning turn off the stove.

Serve with as part of any rice and curry meal or eat with Naan, Roti etc.. Enjoy. Serves 4-6 people.

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