Recipe Shed: Spicy Indian beef koftas baked in a silky tomato sauce

There is something very satisfying and homely about meatball, be they Italian or Indian. This is my variation on the class koftas from Indian, combined with a silky, spicy tomato sauce that has the consistency of a thick soup.

Makes 16-20 golfball-sized koftas

For the koftas

300g lean minced beef
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp medium-hot curry powder (I make my own blend, combining cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, cloves and cinnamon, then store it, but you can use shop-bought)

1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1-2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil

For the sauce

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp curry powder (same used in the koftas)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
150ml double cream

1. To make the koftas, first gently cook the onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil until soft, approx. 5-7 mins. Add the curry powder and stir for 1 min. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the beef with the onion/garlic/ginger/spice mixture, along with the fenugreek leaves. Really get stuck in!

3. Form into golfball-sized meatballs, then roll in flour.

4. Heat the oil to medium in a large frying pan. Brown the koftas all over, approx. 5 mins. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

5. Make the tomato sauce by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan and bringing to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5-7 mins before adding the cream, then leave to cool, before using a stick blender to blitz the sauce so that it is silky smooth.

6. Transfer the meatballs to a shallow baking dish and pour the sauce all over.

7. Cover with tin foil and bake in an oven preheated to 180C/Gas 4, for 30-35 mins, then remove the foil for the last 5 mins until the sauce is bubbling and the koftas are cooked all the way through.

8. Serve with pilau rice. I bought a spice sachet for this from Diane @healthymealkitz and followed her instructions to the letter. It was superb.


Filed under Beef, Recipe Shed

3 Responses to Recipe Shed: Spicy Indian beef koftas baked in a silky tomato sauce

  1. When I get home I’ll post an alternative sauce here for you – suffice to say it’s absolutely delicious. Based on coconut milk and ground almonds. Did it with chicken koftas on Friday, should’ve made twice as much.

  2. Right.
    1 onion, roughly chopped
    1 tablespoon oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 teaspoons garam masala
    1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    170ml coconut milk
    90g plain yoghurt
    35g ground almonds
    2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

    Fry the onion and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes, add garam masala and turmeric, fry for another couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk, yoghurt and ground almonds, bring almost to the boil. Reduce heat, add koftas, simmer for 15 minutes or so, until they’re cooked through (you may have to test 1 or 2…). Stir through the coriander and serve.

    This is from my go-to curry book, the imaginatively titled “Cooking Curries”. It’s superb.

  3. ooh, this looks lovely – will check out those spice sachets.