The first time that I found ground lamb in the delivery from our meat CSA, I thought, Oh boy, lamburgers! Well, that’s not entirely true; I did think “lamburgers” but not “oh boy.” Lamb patties were in the regular supper rotation at our house when I was growing up. Simply fried up in a skillet and served without buns, I remember them - not fondly - as a little dry and not terribly exciting. I let my little packet of ground lamb languish, therefore, in the freezer for a few months…
…until I was perusing my Indian cookbook and thought, DUH. LAMB.
I tried out this little recipe for Kashmiri-style meatballs and Oh boy! for real. These are really wonderful. The recipe is easy to do and can be made ahead of time, then re-heated. So, it’s a great recipe for when you have a hankering to make a big Indian feast. The only real problem is that these meatballs taste so good you will wish you had made more of them.
I’m going to give you the recipe verbatim from the cookbook, but just so you know: I don’t really do it this way, because the sauce came out so oily. Maybe it’s just me and I’m doing something wrong, or maybe it’s just supposed to be oily. So what I did was: (1) make the meatball mixture, (2) fry it in a little olive oil, (3) add some water, garam masala, salt and pepper and (4) simmer. I didn’t have any dried milk, either. So maybe I didn’t really make Kashimiri Kofta Kari. But whatever it was, it sure was tasty.
Kashimiri Kofta Kari (Curried Meatballs, Kashimiri Style)
From The Complete Asian Cookbook, by Charmaine Solomon
1-1/2 pounds lean minced lamb
1 teaspoon finely greated ginger
2 fresh chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons salt [note: I only used about ½ teaspoon]
½ cup yogurt
3 tablespoons ghee [or olive oil]
1 tablespoon dried milk or khoa
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Put the lamb into a bowl with the ginger, chilies, coriander, chili powder and 1 teaspoon each of the garam masala and salt. Add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt to moisten the spices and help distribute them evenly. A teaspoon or so of the ghee can be added if the lamb is very lean. Mix well and form into small oval shapes.
Heat the ghee in a heavy saucepan, add the dried milk, sugar, remaining yogurt, garam masala and salt. Fry gently, then add a half cup of hot water, bring to the boil and add the koftas. Simmer, covered, until no liquid remains. Turn koftas over, add a half cup more hot water and the pepper, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed once more. Sprinkle the dish with cardamom and serve with Indian breads or rice. Cover after adding cardamom so its fragrance will not dissipate.
Serves 6. [6? 6 what??!? Small children, maybe. The hubby & I polished it off all by ourselves].