There is something very satisfying and homely about meatball, be they Italian or Indian. This is my variation on the class koftas from Indian, combined with a silky, spicy tomato sauce that has the consistency of a thick soup.
Makes 16-20 golfball-sized koftas
For the koftas
300g lean minced beef
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp medium-hot curry powder (I make my own blend, combining cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, cloves and cinnamon, then store it, but you can use shop-bought)
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1-2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil
For the sauce
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp curry powder (same used in the koftas)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
150ml double cream
1. To make the koftas, first gently cook the onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil until soft, approx. 5-7 mins. Add the curry powder and stir for 1 min. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
2. In a mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the beef with the onion/garlic/ginger/spice mixture, along with the fenugreek leaves. Really get stuck in!
3. Form into golfball-sized meatballs, then roll in flour.
4. Heat the oil to medium in a large frying pan. Brown the koftas all over, approx. 5 mins. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
5. Make the tomato sauce by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan and bringing to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5-7 mins before adding the cream, then leave to cool, before using a stick blender to blitz the sauce so that it is silky smooth.
6. Transfer the meatballs to a shallow baking dish and pour the sauce all over.
7. Cover with tin foil and bake in an oven preheated to 180C/Gas 4, for 30-35 mins, then remove the foil for the last 5 mins until the sauce is bubbling and the koftas are cooked all the way through.
8. Serve with pilau rice. I bought a spice sachet for this from Diane @healthymealkitz and followed her instructions to the letter. It was superb.