Quick Lamb Kofta Curry

, from Issue #55. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Quick Lamb Kofta Curry

This aromatic, warming curry takes no time at all when using lamb mince for the tender kofta. Purchased spice pastes are a great store-cupboard essential and make a quick full-flavoured base for this great family meal.

Serves: 4-6


400 grams lamb mince
1 x 400 gram tin brown lentils, drained and rinsed (I used Delmaine brand)
2 teaspoons ground garam masala
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon each ground ginger and turmeric
3 tablespoons purchased Tikka Masala paste
⅓ cup water
1 x 400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
1 cup coconut cream

Serving suggestions: hot cooked rice, toasted coconut, crispy shallots, coconut cream, mint or coriander, lime or lemon wedges


Kofta: Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and season generously. Use your hands to mix everything together until the lentils are really well combined with the mince.
Form into 16 small logs about 6cm long.

Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the kofta on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary. Transfer to a plate. Don’t wash the sauté pan.

Sauce: Add the olive oil to the pan if needed and cook the onion with a good pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, spices, paste and the water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and coconut cream and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the kofta and any juices and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the kofta are fully cooked.

To serve: Spoon the kofta and sauce over hot rice and top with garnishes of choice.

Pantry note: Garam masala is a hot spice mix common in North Indian cuisine. It typically includes turmeric, black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom. Available in the spice section of supermarkets or at Asian food stores.