Curry, loosely termed, is one of those dishes that everyone thinks they can cook incredibly well. However, more often than not it turns out that those who have claimed such a thing are spectacularly mistaken. Indeed, I’ve met very few people who can cook a remarkable curry, which is almost surprising given the many declarations of brilliance. Remember this, preparing a curry by using a shop-bought paste does not count as making a curry. When constructing a curry intended to be truly exquisite, it is impossible to undervalue time, attention and a homemade spice mix. Though one may rest assured that once one has undertaken the feat of making a homemade curry, one shall never intentionally return to the relatively insipid paste which insists on emerging from the dingy recesses of a factory filled glass jar. There’s nothing quite like a harsh lesson in reality, is there?
Good Friday is upon us. However, since it is probably for the best that this blog maintains its secular approach, no more shall be said regarding the historical events of this day. It is regrettable that a culinary celebration of this particular holiday has not yet been possible, though something may come the way of my flock shortly. Indeed, it is perhaps true that an Easter themed post would have been the most appropriate for today. When it does come you have my good and honest word that it’ll be spectacular, rustic and full of an appropriately unbridled amount of chocolate.
As it happens, something equally enticing and delicious has been lined up. Please enjoy this beef kofta curry, the main ingredient of which is minced beef; a much underrated and often incredibly maligned ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Beef Kofta Curry
• 500g lean beef mince
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 large knob of fresh ginger
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 2 fresh chillies
• A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
• 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 400g tin peeled plum tomatoes
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
1. The first thing to do is to blend the garlic, ginger and chillies together with a little olive oil. To make the koftas, simply mix together the beef mince, half of the above paste, most of the fresh coriander, the cinnamon, ½ tsp of cumin, ½ tsp ground coriander and a little salt and pepper. Form the resultant mixture into 9-12 little balls depending on the number of people.
2. To begin making the sauce, fry the onions in a generous glug of olive oil, the turmeric as well as the remaining cumin and ground coriander. After 5 minutes of simmering add the rest of the paste. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes before adding and breaking the tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes before adding roughly 100ml of water and the puree. Season, stir thoroughly and allow to simmer for at least 40 minutes.
3. While the sauce is reducing begin frying off the kofta balls in a little oil. They want to be browned all over. Once this is done add the resultant oil, beef fat and kofta balls to the pot. Cook this on a gentle heat until the time is up and the sauce has reduced. Simply pop on a lid if the sauce is in danger of becoming too stodgy. Serve with a little rice and a smattering of fresh coriander.
Cost: Curry has to be one of the most economical types of food out there. Not only does it always pack a flavourful punch, but it does so on a budget. This entire meal will set one back around £4.20, even I thought it would cost a little more than that!