5 March 2007

Kashmiri Meatballs With Tomato Sauce

I made these yesterday and made a variant on the Bulgarian tomato sauce today and we had it for dinner. The combination was not stunning, as I suspected, but was quite edible. My original plan was to make a vegetable curry, but I forgot to decide on one and hadn't bought the ingredients.

The recipe for the meatballs is based on the one by Madhur Jaffrey from her book Indian Cooking. The previous time I made these, I followed the recipe and was disappointed by the lack of flavour. And I hope it's just because of some major misunderstanding on quantities. Lost in translation or something. Also, it was too dark for me to go up to the end of the garden to pick bay leaves, so here is what I did yesterday.


1 kg beef mince
4 tbsp ginger purée
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
0.5 tsp ground cloves
0.25 tsp ground cinnamon
0.25 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground black pepper
0.5 tsp hot chili powder
2.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp plain yogurt
4 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil and mix well.
  2. Get a bowl of water to wet your hands in and a sheet of baking paper and make the meatballs oblong like sausages. About 2 x 2 x 10 cm. Place on the baking paper.
  3. From the above, I made 26 "koftas".
  4. Heat up half of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fill it with koftas, making sure they don't touch.
  5. Turn them regularly until done. Keep replacing with new ones as space becomes available, they tend do shrink a bit.
  6. Add more oil when needed.
  7. When removing the meatballs from the pan, place them on kitchen roll to soak up excess fat.
This is the recipe without the sauce and with all spices doubled, except the cinnamon. Yesterday, I doubled that too and it was dominating the flavour, so I've left it as in the book in the listing above.

As for the tomato sauce:


4 small onions
2 small cloves of garlic
0.5 dl vegetable oil
3 x 400 g cans of tomatoes
1 x 400 g can of mushrooms
salt, black pepper, mint, thyme and chili flakes to taste
1 tbsp plain flour

  1. Peel and dice the onions.
  2. Heat up the oil and fry the onions. Press in the garlic as well.
  3. Purée the tomatoes and add to the onions.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, if not already sliced and add to the sauce.
  5. Add all the spices and stir in well.
  6. Leave to simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the flour to thicken a bit.
Lundulph has now frozen the remaining meatballs and I'll add some tuna to the tomato sauce and we'll have it with pasta on Thursday.

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