Tamarind-glazed koftas

by Roopa Gulati

A simple make-ahead party snack


For the koftas:
A large handful of coriander, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
75g ginger, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded, chopped
1 egg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½kg lamb mince
4-6 tbsp sunflower oil

For the tamarind glaze:
175g seedless wet tamarind
3 tbsp date palm sugar or dark muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded, chopped

For the chilli crème fraiche dip:
1 green chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
125ml crème fraiche
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp roasted ground cumin


Put all the ingredients for the koftas apart from the mince and oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add to the mince and mix well.

Using wet hands, shape the mixture into round meatballs, about the diameter of a large marble. Transfer them to a tray lined with greaseproof paper and chill for 20 mins before cooking.

For the glaze, break up the tamarind with your hands and pour water over it to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 mins, until really soft. Push the pulp through a sieve, discard any seeds and fibres and leave to one side.

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat and fry the koftas in batches for about 7-10 mins, until coloured and cooked through. Remove them from the pan and keep warm.

Drain off excess oil from the pan and add the tamarind pulp, sugar, ground ginger and chopped red chilli. Cook until the pulp thickens and becomes syrupy—add a little water if it gets too thick. Add more sugar if you think it needs it.

Return the koftas to the pan and coat well with the glaze. Thoroughly warm through before serving.

Mix the chopped green chilli with the crème fraiche, olive oil and ground cumin. Season to taste and serve with the koftas.

Recipe: Roopa Gulati