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:|
|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|
|3 tbsp||vegetable oil, for frying|
|For the spiced 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.