2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp sunflower oil
4 medium onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium-hot red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp tomato purée
600ml lamb stock, hot
7.5cm piece cinnamon stick
8 green cardamom pods, cracked open
2 dried curry leaves, crumbled (optional)
25g creamed coconut
700g lean lamb mince
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
1 medium egg, beaten
1. Heat a heavy-based pan over a high heat. Add the coriander and cumin seeds and shake them around for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Tip into a spice grinder or mortar and grind to a fine powder, then mix with the turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the red chillies, spices and a little salt and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Put half the mixture into a mixing bowl and leave to cool. Meanwhile, add the ginger, tomato purée, stock, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, curry leaves (if using) and coconut to the remaining mixture in the pan and bring up to a gentle simmer.
3. Put the lamb mince, chopped coriander, beaten egg and a little salt into the bowl with the fried onion mixture and, using your hands, mix together well. Shape into golf-sized balls and drop them into the simmering sauce. Partially cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring gently now and then once the meatballs have set, until the sauce has reduced and is nicely thickened. Spoon into a sealable plastic container and leave to cool. Cover, label and freeze until needed.
4. The day before you want to eat, remove the kofta curry from the freezer and leave to thaw in the fridge overnight. The next day, transfer to a saucepan, cover and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway, or until piping hot. Serve garnished with fresh coriander, steamed basmati rice topped with finely sliced shallot, if you like, and some poppadums.
- Freeze for up to 1 month, then defrost in the fridge for 24 hours and reheat for 15-20 minutes, until piping hot.
- Wine note: Pick a soft but rich, ripe red to go with this – an Australian Cabernet-Shiraz blend would be ideal.