Lamb Koftas in Yogurt with Cinnamon and Chilli
Driving into Thakur Man Singh’s huge ancestral property just outside Jaipur in Rajasthan, I had the feeling I’d been there before. Afterwards, in conversation with him, I realized that they’d used his house as the ex-British Raj Club in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where the character played by Celia Imrie went hunting for rich men. Thakur is royalty, he is a Rajput; I asked his wife Sandhyo what it was like being married to a Rajput and she said, ‘I too am a Rajput, we don’t marry out of our caste.’ They were lovely, very happily married, and for royalty extremely approachable. These koftas make a very good first course or snack.
- For the koftas:
- 300g lamb mince
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 10g/2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Small handful of mint leaves
- Small handful of coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
- For the spiced yogurt:
- 400ml natural yogurt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
- Pinch of Kashmiri chilli powder, plus extra for sprinkling
- Parathas or Chapatis, to serve
For the koftas, put all the kofta ingredients apart from the vegetable oil into a food processor and blend to a very smooth paste. Take heaped teaspoons of the kofta mixture and, using wet hands, roll into small balls roughly 5cm in diameter.
Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the koftas in batches for about 7–10 minutes, turning a few times, until browned and cooked through.
For the spiced yogurt, mix the yogurt in a bowl with the cinnamon and chilli powder, adding a dash of water to thin it down if needed to give it a smooth and runny consistency.
Drizzle the yogurt over the hot koftas, sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and chilli powder, and serve with Indian breads.