After ten weeks of living off canned soup and tea in a flask, the kitchen is finally taking shape! The stove top has been installed so I can christen it with a dozen different dishes. Of course, I had to do a test run to see whether these unfamiliar contraptions could withstand the labour of a Bengali household. Or at least, this was the guise I used to make a whopping batch of lamb kofta and chickpea curry.
Servings: 7-8 portions
Prep+cooking time: 1hr
Ingredients for lamb kofta
- 500g minced lamb (good quality quorn mince can easily be used as a meat alternative)
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tbsp garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 medium sized free range egg
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 small bunch french coriander, finely chopped (use as much of the green stem as possible)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
Ingredients for chana masala (chickpea curry)
- 1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 green chilli, split in half lengthways
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (I prefer to use canned plum tomatoes but this is up to you!)
- 500ml water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp chaat masala (optional)
- 1 tsp methi or dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
- 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1) In a big sturdy bowl, mix all the kofta ingredients thoroughly with your hands. Grease your palms and make medium sized meatballs. Keeping the kofta relatively small means they will cook through evenly and hold their shape better when cooked. Meat swells when cooking so avoid making huge golfball sized kofta!
2) Line the kofta on a plate, cover with cling film and store in the fridge for 30 mins- 2 hours.
3) When you are ready to cook the kofta, heat the vegetable oil and roast the cumin seeds on a high heat. After 30 seconds or so, add your onions, garlic and ginger and allow them to sweat until the strong aroma fades. Take your kofta pieces and place on top before cooking with the lid on for 10 minutes. Turn the kofta occasionally to prevent burning.
4) Add the drained chickpeas, tomatoes, spices and fresh coriander (save some to garnish later). Add a little water in intervals every few minutes until the kofta is covered by the liquid. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
5) Check the seasoning as it may need a little more salt, but the kofta and chickpea curry is now ready to serve! This tastes great with fresh naan bread or rice. Also, the kofta and the chickpea curry can be made separately so you can leave out the meat or vegetables if you wish!