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Lamb curry kofte with ginger pilaf and curry-leaf oil

Recipe for lamb curry kofte with ginger pilaf and curry-leaf oil.

By Emma Knowles
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus standing
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Lamb curry kofte with ginger pilaf and curry-leaf oil
As with all curries, this one gets better after a day in the fridge. Cook a double batch on a Sunday when time is on your side and you'll have dinner sorted for Monday night.


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cup each (firmly packed) coriander and mint, plus 2 tbsp extra finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated turmeric
  • 5 long green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250 gm thick plain yoghurt
  • 3 tsp each ground cumin and garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 600 gm minced lamb
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
Ginger pilaf
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) basmati rice
  • 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Curry-leaf oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 long green chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 fresh curry leaf sprigs


  • 1
    Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté until light golden, adding fennel seeds in the last minute of cooking (8-10 minutes). Process coriander, mint, turmeric, half the chillies, half the ginger and half the garlic in a food processor to a paste. Add yoghurt and sautéed onion, and process until smooth. Return to pan with half the spices and stir until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add stock, bring to a simmer and cook for flavours to infuse (6-8 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, combine lamb, finely chopped coriander and remaining chilli, ginger, garlic and spices in a bowl and season to taste. Roll into golfball-sized balls and add to curry mixture. Simmer, turning meatballs occasionally, until sauce thickens and meatballs are cooked through (15-20 minutes). Add lemon juice and season to taste.
  • 3
    For ginger pilaf, heat ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, ginger, turmeric and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat, add stock, season to taste and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook without removing lid for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid, place a clean tea towel over pan and replace lid. Stand for 10 minutes, then add lemon rind and juice and fluff up with a fork.
  • 4
    For curry-leaf oil, heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add chilli and cook until becoming crisp (1-2 minutes). Add curry leaves and remove from heat. Serve meatballs with ginger pilaf and drizzled with curry-leaf oil.


Drink Suggestion: Meaty red Mataró. Drink suggestion by Max Allen