May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Group testing of selected forum recipes by forum members

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Cory Ander » Sun May 06, 2018 4:12 am

Nice looking kofta/meatballs and curry, GB 8-)

The caption for your koftas says "Dry frying and cooking off the meatballs". But there appears to be quite a bit of sauce in there? Is this after grilling them and when making the final curry? Just curious....
Regards

CA (aka Admin) :)
User avatar
Cory Ander
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 8493
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:52 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Favourite Curries: King Prawn Phal

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Greybeard » Sun May 06, 2018 11:02 am

Thanks, CA - they were excellent.

I've had problems with koftas etc. falling apart and disintegrating when grilled in the past without using any binder (e.g. egg or breadcrumbs). The mixture while it was quite stiff, was not quite stiff enough to endure any real rough handling, even after a good spell in the fridge. I wimped out from the grill at that point, and decided some intensive care on the stovetop was in order.

I started to fry the koftas over a medium-high heat in my non-stick wok, uncovered, without any oil, until they just started to develop some colour. At this point, they were still extremely soft, if I had gently used tongs to turn them they would definitely gone out of shape. I had to reduce the heat to low as they were in danger of getting burnt on the outside (while still being very soft and raw on the inside). I then put the lid on the wok, and gave them a shake from time to time until they were "springy and firm" to the touch, approximately 20 minutes in total. The resulting "sauce" was the combination of the fat and juices from the lamb, which, surprisingly, was "low fat". It tasted OK, and didn't seem too greasy, so it was all added back into to the curry at the final fry off.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Greybeard » Thu May 10, 2018 12:40 am

Greybeard review - May 2018 Curry club - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

One of the great positives of this curry forum is that you get to mix with people from many different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. Our one common denominator is no matter from where in the globe we currently reside, we have a passion for that most elusive and rare beast on the world stage – the BIR curry. After all, if you want an authentic curry, just hop on a plane to India or the Far East and your taste-buds will be dazzled with a wide array of authentic dishes, some authentic, some tuned for the local tourist. The problem is that BIR cuisine is such a niche commodity, it is frequently dismissed as “fast food”, unhealthy, and not worthy of any merit from the upper echelons of the food chain. Despite the considerable hard work that goes into a high quality BIR curry, it remains the black sheep of the culinary industry. For some reason the French have set the standard with their Michelin guide, and the 2018 results are quite an eye opener. Both Chinese and Indian cuisine have made the grade, albeit with one star.

I will remain adamant until they drag me off in a big black Volvo estate in a wooden box that the amount of effort that goes into a decent BIR curry is worthy of far more attention and recognition than it currently attracts. Maybe my social circle could be accused of being a bit limited in their dining experiences, but I doubt it though. I won’t openly declare here their social standing, but my friends have been around. They know a bit about life, and we share a common bond in that we detest pretentiousness, and would rather call things as they are. If I started serving food with a drizzling of jus with added flower petals on top, they would be the first to gather together a doctor and a judge with a view to having me committed to the nearest locked psychiatric ward post haste.

I have dined in some of the finest restaurants in the UK and abroad. My best personal record was hitting £250 a head, excluding alcohol, when that amount would comfortably buy you something significant. If my memory serves me correctly, that worked out at the time at 12.5p per cigarette. Now we are at 50p per cigarette in the UK in London, that would work out at £1000 per head. Current Michelin star prices vary, but £300+ per head is not exceptional. So based on personal experience, my fine dining experience should have been something stellar. The company and atmosphere was, but the food was just what I expected from a good restaurant. Every dish was cooked to perfection, but it didn’t scratch that sweet spot, that makes you want to batter down the doors at 2:00am demanding more when the urge hits. Unlike some other food chains I could mention.

If you want to make my friends eyes light up, just mention the C word as a dinner party menu. I doubt if I would command £50 a head, never mind five times that amount. I’m convinced so much of this success is not down to technique or slavishly following recipes. It is IMHO, down to the care and love I put into a dish. Call me arrogant if you want, but I can’t put a price into these curries. Guests know I will be in the kitchen, Mrs GB entertains. By the time the food comes out (often delayed), I am too knackered to truly enjoy it. The path of a decent chef is a lonely one. Self doubt, the reality of circumstance (something always goes wrong) and the pressure of time always conspires to break something. Perfection is always one step away.

Which is why I have the utmost respect for JalfreziT, and his “loose moose”. No matter how hard you try, getting a decent balance of meat, fat and filler to put together a decent Kofta is not a simple task. There needs to be that alchemist type reaction during cooking, that keeps the body of the meat together, but at the same time retaining moisture. Ingredients such as egg and breadcrumbs will hold everything together, but at the same time will cause the bolus to lack moisture and umami in the recipients mouth. Mouth feel, when it comes to Kofta is essential. Moist and flavoursome is what we are looking at here.

In cooking this recipe, I adhered to the wisdom of my grandmother. If you can stick a spoon upright in it, it is probably good for you. I probably added more veg than the recipe dictated, but as a countermeasure to any potential liquid I added a good sprinkling of Aromat. Anything with MSG can’t be that bad. The resulting mixture was dried fried in a wok, with the lid added to ensure the Kofta balls were cooked through enough. The juices were retained to add to the final curry.

Cooking off the final curry according to the recipe wasn’t a problem. What did cause some consternation in the GB household was how hot this dish was. I used fat chillies (without seeds), and despite using a smaller quantity of Kashmiri chilli powder in the sauce, Mrs GB was not pleased. “Too hot” was the cry, yet the dish left overnight in the fridge was consumed for the following days lunch without compliant. Either I have trained Mrs GB to accept my leftovers without any complaint, or some “overnight in the fridge mellowing” is going on. I suspect the latter.

And here lies the rub. I have cooked some Kofta curries that would beat this dish hands down. The problem is, they don’t subscribe to the BIR methodology. Without a tandoor, it is difficult to recreate the essence of moist, smoked cooked meat, or as JalfreziT puts it, getting the external proteins to bind. Where my Kofta curries excel is that the the lamb is cooked “long and slow”, keeping it moist but at the same time absorbing flavour. They are steamed to death. Which may or not as the case be regarding technique, the whole point of the whole damn thing. The final dish is important, and the enjoyment it brings to our guests is more than than any fleeting pleasure any award can bring.

As to the final curry, I left naught on my plate. To my reckoning, it was more “fire in the hole” than I was expecting. For me (and Mrs GB definitely), the chilli quantity needs to be dialled down, either in the sauce or the koftas. That said, it is a personal preference. Food for me needs to be a contrast, and “Quantity X” everywhere doesn’t work for me, although I am truly guilty of this from a garlic rather than a chilli perspective.

If as a community, we want BIR to hit a Michelin star, we need to think outside the box a bit. Yes, we can look at high output burners and tandoors to help us. Really though, what matters is our creativity as chefs, and what we are aiming for.

In my book, both JalfreziT and Bandit deserve a chunk of that elusive BIR Michelin star. Bandit, for sticking to principles (no binder) and JalfreziT for daring to use a meat that is so alien to BIR curries.
Last edited by Greybeard on Thu May 10, 2018 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Bandit » Thu May 10, 2018 9:21 am

Hi GB,

I was waiting for your review with anticipation and apprehension and you did not disappoint.

I used to make this curry many, many moons ago cooked low and slow in the oven but I have tried to re-create in the BIR style as I'm sure that in a restaurant or TA the customer does't want to wait for that amount of time unless they are trying to get them to down copious amounts of Cobra and Bombay Mix to increase the profits. I still fondly remember the curries of the early 80's as I am of that certain age or is it that my memory is fading and becoming clouded.

Restaurants and some TA's are as you have mentioned are trying to improve the image of this trade and I think they are succeeding with the amount of TV celebrity chefs that are around these days but not all cooking in the BIR style that we hanker for but onwards and upwards.

I have never had a problem with my balls (Kofta) as when I add the mixture back into the blender in small quantities I pulse the mixture until the desired consistency is reached to be able to hold the shape and cook under I cook them under the grill on the highest heat to char the outside and keep them moist on the inside unfortunately I don't have a Tandoor (Yet).

I applaud JT for the "loose Moose" mixture and his resourcefulness and perseverance in creating the dish and as I have found out since joining this forum the importance of the science behind the cooking and I thank all of those that have provided this information. We are always learning and hopefully improving and I take onboard any constructive criticism.

The problem when cooking with fresh chilli is the variation of the heat levels and what is acceptable to yourself which I am constantly being reminded (moaned at) by Mrs B that is why I now serve onion & mint raita with the mains to avoid those glaring looks followed by my apologies.

As always an excellent and informative review by GB and I thank all for any constructive criticism, all is taken onboard whether it is about this curry or others I have posted as I am here to learn more and to improve and all feed back is appreciated.

Many thanks to all that have tried and I look forward to the next installment of "The Curry Club"

Cheers Bandit
User avatar
Bandit
SERRANO
SERRANO
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:51 am

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby JalfreziT » Thu May 10, 2018 1:01 pm

Two super posts from GB and Bandit, both a real pleasure to read. Entertaining, informative and constructive. Just the type of posts that encourage me to actively engage in this forum. If either of you ever visit Finland, you now have an open invitation to my pihasauna. :yes: (Culturally that's a big f..k off compliment, but you can bring your own beer :): )

Bandit wrote:Many thanks to all that have tried and I look forward to the next installment of "The Curry Club"


Me too. I've spent a couple of hours perusing recipes but none have yet fitted the Curry Club criteria, it's more difficult that one might think. Personally, I'm a stickler for rules, basically because I think they make any community function better if everyone knows what to do, and more importanly, what behaviour to expect from others. I will persevere and don't fear, I will propose a June Curry Club recipe soon. :):
They've been cooking on Blue Peter, now they're sampling the dishes,
I don't normally like tomatoes John but this is delicious.
JalfreziT
SERRANO
SERRANO
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:31 pm
Location: Finland

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby pauly » Thu May 10, 2018 6:29 pm

A disappointing uptake to this one by our members, I had thought after the recent posts there would have been more.

I decided to go on a totally different track to making this & asked my wife, who has made thousands of traditional style curries & makes a very nice kofta, but has never made a BIR style recipe, to act as a total beginner would make this recipe. I wasn't even in the house when she made the first one & came back to watch her make a second.

Her first question was how many servings is it, she assumed one & made it accordingly. The next was what size to make the balls, she made them golfball size. When I came in, she was going to add the 2tbsp of tomato puree straight into the pan, I queried it, saying normally I would add tomato puree to some water, so that was in doubt, perhaps Bandit would clarify. She used coconut oil to make the second curry.

I'll copy her notes:
Processed all the ingredients together(less mince) didn't puree only finely chopped, added mince & pulsed 3/4 times then ran the processor on medium for 30secs. Made golf ball size kofta & rested in the fridge for a few hours.

blended meat and veg.jpg
blended meat and veg.jpg (506.28 KiB) Viewed 163 times






kofta balls.jpg
kofta balls.jpg (445.18 KiB) Viewed 163 times


kofta in air fryer.jpg


kofta oout of air fryer.jpg


chopped veg for 2.jpg
chopped veg for 2.jpg (453.82 KiB) Viewed 163 times

This was the one using coconut oil & watered tomato puree.
coconut and adjusted tom puree.jpg
coconut and adjusted tom puree.jpg (462.29 KiB) Viewed 163 times

As per the recipe.
as per receipe.jpg
as per receipe.jpg (469.61 KiB) Viewed 163 times



We both felt the curry was over spiced & we thought 1 tbsp of powder was too much for our taste, & being fresh out of moose(!) she used minced beef. The kofta were cooked in an air fryer which made a great job of it.
pauly
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 2848
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Co.Cork, Ireland
Favourite Curries: Chicken Vindaloo

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Greybeard » Thu May 10, 2018 6:59 pm

That looks superb, Pauly. I like the idea of using the air fryer to cook the koftas, must remember that trick next time.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Bandit » Thu May 10, 2018 8:09 pm

Hi Pauly,

Ditto on the air fryer not only for for Koftas but other things now going through my mind, gives me more justification when the subject of buying one is broached.

Thanks to you both especially to Mrs P for her interpretation of the recipe and the feed back so I can improve on the posting of other recipes trying to give more of an explanation of sizes, mixes and methods of prep and cooking etc, which is good for all to learn from as it may be a first cook for someone, the Tomato puree I use is a 50/50 mix with water.

The original Kofta mix was used for various dishes, balls for the curry, kebabs for starters and left over which was converted into keema for my attempt at Keema Naan's

Rolled and Ready .jpg
Rolled and Ready .jpg (34.3 KiB) Viewed 159 times


The curry was based on a generous single portion or a smaller double portion, the spicing of the curry is a personal thing and is one of those things that can be adjusted accordingly to your particular taste.

Thanks to you both for the feed back and I think the pictures are great and the Koftas look excellent even if larger that I would do, lesson learnt on the recipe description side of things which I will learn from and hopefully improve for future postings.

Cheers Bandit :thumbup:
User avatar
Bandit
SERRANO
SERRANO
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:51 am

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby ScotchBonnet » Fri May 11, 2018 12:28 am

Those air-fried balls look very good - wondering if I should get one (air-fryer, that is - not a ball) to sit next to my electric pressure cooker.

I have to confess that I have not had time to attempt this dish but the amount of spices looks about double what I'd put in a similar-sized portion.

Some tips on making the kofta themselves - the fatty, gooey stuff in the meat does its job best if you either manually mix it with a fork (long, rapid drags of the fork through the meat) or gently pulse it in a blender. If you run it fast in a blender the mixture gets too warm, the fat melts, the particles of meat get too small and the stickiness is lost. Size-wise, I have had no complaints with golf-ball-sized balls.

GB - if there were a category/award for best picture of the year this year then that one of yours with the kofta in the pan and the steam swirling about (“Dry frying and cooking off the meatballs” - Sat May 05, 2018 10:33 pm) would be a worthy contender.
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".
User avatar
ScotchBonnet
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
 
Posts: 1532
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 6:54 pm
Location: Glasgow
Favourite Curries: Garlic Chilli Chicken, Tandoori Lamb Tikka, Veggie

Re: May 2018 - Bandit's Lamb Kofta Curry

Postby Greybeard » Sun May 27, 2018 1:07 am

Thanks SB. I am always impatient to eat my curries, so unlike a few others here that let the dishes cool before photographing, I dash off a few quick shots (which is my excuse for the generally rushed pictures and poor lighting).
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken

Previous

Return to Curry Club (Guests Welcome to Browse)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest