Tale #20 Beef kofta curry with fluffy rice, beans & peas

One of the many wonderful things about this grey little island is its amazing Indian food. Britain is obsessed with curry. There’s even The British Curry Awards. Yes, it’s true. I won’t go into a rant about colonialism and cultural imperialism (because that’s not what the Rav B is all about) so I’ll just say I’m grateful for amazing curry. I love curry.

A curry is something I never really thought of making from scratch because there’s so many great takeaway places, street food vendors, food markets, and hell even Sainsburys (not Tesco, never Tesco) who produce amazing Indian dishes.

But the Rav B is all about culinary experimentation for the sake of potential stomach satisfaction. So this weekend, I decided to give it a go.

For starters, I’ll say this recipe is NOT cheap. I basically had none of the Indian spices I needed for this and so had to invest a whopping £32 in this one. I know, I took it hard too.

However, looking at the positive side (that’s new for me), now that I have all the spices and only used about a teaspoon of each (thanks garam masala for costing £2.99), I can make more curries now and they will be cheaper! Sort of.

This recipe (which comes from Jamie Oliver) calls for things like ‘runny honey’. What is runny honey? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. I just used regular pure and natural honey, it seemed pretty runny to me. Maybe this is why people should get formal training before writing food blogs? For the sake of their followers at least. Sorry guys.

Having never made a curry before, I followed the recipe probably 99% accurately as I didn’t know what alterations I could make without screwing up the whole thing into an orangey sopping mess. Now, having made the curry, I can safely say I would use a little less ginger, a little less coconut milk, add more curry paste and another red chili.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the beef

  • 1 x 250 g pack of ready-to-eat Puy lentils
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 400 g quality lean beef mince
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (Recipe didn’t indicate amount but I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper)

For the curry

  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Patak’s rogan josh curry paste
  • ½ x 400 g tin of light coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve (FOR GARNISHING PURPOSES)
  • 1 lemon (FOR GARNISHING PURPOSES)

For the rice

  • 1 mug (300g) 10-minute wholegrain or basmati rice
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 200 g green or yellow beans
  • 200 g frozen peas

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Put the lentils into a bowl with salt, pepper, the garam masala and mince

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Then mix and scrunch together with clean hands • Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. I definitely made mine a little too big (I’m American, what can I say. I just like more food). So make yours a little bit smaller than the picture below.

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Put them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil (I used sunflower oil – you can use olive oil) turning when golden (about 2 min. on each side)

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Put 1 mug of rice, 2 mugs of boiling water and the cardamom pods into the casserole pan, and add the beans and put the lid on

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Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, a bunch of coriander, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk, then blitz until combined. I obviously put my ingredients in a blender because I don’t have a food processor (the mortar and pestle trick wasn’t going to work this time…)

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Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil, then simmer and season to taste

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Take the lid off the rice, add the peas, mix it all up and give it just a few more minutes

If you want to dress it all up, finely slice the remaining chilli and another bunch of coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yogurt, then serve with lemon wedges, and the rice with beans and peas

Gorge

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