Kofta-kabab Khatai

Stuffed with raisins, fried and then sim-mered in a piquant yogurt sauce, Kofta-kabab Khatai (kof-tuh k’bahb khut-tay) may be served with chappatis or rice. This dish improves with keeping so make it some hours before it is required and reheat gently.2 lb. lean minced beef or lamb lg-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 oz. gram or chick-pea flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 egg

2 oz. sultanas or raisins juice of

2 lemon

3 tablespoons water

3 fl. oz. vegetable oil

2 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin to

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 pint yogurt

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, ginger, garlic, 2 ounces of the gram or chick-pea flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the chilli powder and the egg. Using your hands, knead the mixture well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Divide the mixture into about 34 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball in the palm of your hand and place 4 to 5 sultanas or raisins in the centre. Shape the meat mixture around the sultanas or raisins to make a ball. Roll lightly between your hands so that the balls are perfectly round and the sultanas or raisins well sealed in. Set aside.

Sift the remaining gram or chick-pea flour and salt into a saucer. Mix it into a thick batter with the lemon juice and as much of the water as is necessary.

Using your index finger, coat each meatball with a little of the batter.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to moderate and add the meatballs. Fry them, turning them once or twice, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown all over. Do not crowd the pan – it is easier to fry the meatballs in two or three batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried meatballs to a plate. Set aside.

To make the sauce, in a large saucepan or deep frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the ground coriander, cumin and chilli powder and, stirring more frequently, fry the spices for 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and the salt.

Increase the heat to moderately high and when the mixture begins to boil, add the meatballs. Turn them over gently in the sauce so that they are all well coated. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large serving dish. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve at once.