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.

Serves 4-6
Easy

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

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