Kofta is the term for small spicy meatballs that are either fried, baked, or used in soup. They are commonly found in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine, and are served hot or cold. The meat used is traditionally lamb , chicken or in some cases beef. In India there are several popular vegetarian versions of kofta, such as Shahi Aloo Kofta. This recipe for Kofta uses extra lean ground beef and yogurt to keep the fat content low. If the ground beef that is available at your supermarket is not minced finely enough, ask the butcher to run it through his mincer again, or use a fine blade on your food processor at home to mince it. Some kofta recipes use rice or bulgur instead of the bread crumbs used in this recipe. An excellent dish for summer entertaining, as it can be prepared ahead of time and is served cold.
650 grams or 1 1/4 pounds of lean ground beef
1 onion, diced finely
2 fresh green chillies
1 tsp to 1 tbsp ground ginger
1 clove of garlic or 1 tsp minced garlic in oil
2 teaspoons fresh chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cloves
2 slices of stale dry white bread, crumbled
salt to taste
4 cups plain organic yogurt or homemade yogurt
Dice the chillies as finely as possible. Place in a small bowl and add the chopped onion, chillies, ginger and garlic and combine. Add fresh coriander leaves, cumin, dried coriander, turmeric, cloves, bread crumbs, egg, ground beef and salt. Use your hands to mix well. Pat into small meatballs and fry in extra virgin olive oil until they are browned. Drain on a tray lined with paper towels. Pour the four cups of yogurt into a shallow bowl or glass serving dish (a glass lasagna dish works well) and stir it to remove any lumps. Add the meatballs to the yogurt while the meatballs are still warm. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour and a half. This dish is served cold, and can be garnished with chopped fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, raisins or blanched almonds. Serve with a cucumber and tomato salad with a vinagraitte dressing and flatbread such as naan or chapati.