Kofta hara masala (Indian meatballs in a green sauce)


For the koftas

For the green sauce

To garnish

For the lemon and ginger rice


  1. To make the koftas, mix all the kofta ingredients together in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.

  2. Shape into golf ball sizes.

  3. For the green sauce, heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the sliced onions and fry until they are golden-brown. Remove and keep to one side, reserving the oil in the pan.

  4. Place all the other green sauce ingredients, except for the reserved oil and water, into a food processor or blender. Add all but one tablespoon of the fried onions (which you will use for the garnish) and blend to form a smooth paste.

  5. Using the same saucepan in which the onions have been fried, reheat the reserved oil and add the spice paste to the pan. Fry for at least 2-5 minutes.

  6. Add the hot water to the pan and bring to the boil. Make sure that the sauce is bubbling, then add the koftas. Bring back to the boil and simmer for at least 30-45 minutes, partially covered, to allow the sauce to thicken and reduce.

  7. Once the oil starts to separate from the sauce, the koftas should be ready.

  8. For the lemon and ginger rice, wash the rice in hot water then rinse several times in cold water to remove as much starch as possible. Cover the rice in plenty of cold water, add a little salt and soak for at least half an hour, then drain.

  9. Place the lemon juice and zest, half of the ginger julienne, salt and a teaspoon of ghee into a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the water and bring to the boil. Allow the ginger to soften slightly then add the drained rice and turmeric. Stir twice and cook the rice until the liquid is reduced.

  10. When the liquid starts to bubble, you will notice that the rice will form craters. As soon as this happens, reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a dry cloth over the pot then cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Do not open the lid during this stage.

  11. After 10 minutes remove from heat.

  12. To serve, garnish the koftas with the reserved fried onions, toasted flaked almonds, cream and fresh mint and serve with the lemon and ginger rice.