NARGISI KOFTA: Indian-inspired Easter Eggs
We are certainly feeling the burden of social distancing, especially at this time of the year. Whether it's the family gatherings, church services or long weekend vibes that you are going to miss the most this Easter, it won't be the same as every other year.
But we must remain strong and find joy in everything that we are still able to do. And for many for us, that is cooking! The kitchen has become a makeshift studio from which we express our creativity, frustration, love and passion.
We have put together a recipe that you can try out from your kitchen this Easter (or any time of the year really). It has the necessary Easter egg vibes, but with a spicy twist (no surprises there).
Nargisi Kofta are like Scotch Eggs or are Scotch Eggs fashioned after the Nargisi Kofta by Scotsmen returning from India? This is one of the theories about the origin of Scotch eggs according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Like most North Indian Koftas, this dish is a legacy of the Mughals who came from ancient Persia with their rich meat dishes in creamy sauces. The mince meat used in India to make this dish is usually mutton (goat) mince. As it is not available here in Australia, we used beef. Try it with chicken if you prefer. Or make a vegetarian version by encasing Paneer in potato. The sauce can be the same as in the recipe below.
1. Boil 4 eggs, cool and then shell and set aside.
2. Beat 1 egg in a mixing bowl then add 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 1 tsp salt, 2 level tbsp BAKED MEATBALL spice and 1 tbsp cornflour. Mix together with 500g mince meat.
3. Divide into into 8 equal balls.
4. Flatten 1 ball of mince on the palm of your hand. Place one of the boiled eggs on it and cover it with another, flattened ball of mince. Seal the edges of the meat mixture to form a smooth coating over the egg. Do the same with the remaining 3 eggs.
5. Deep fry for just 1 minute to seal the meat around egg (not to cook it). Place on a plate and set aside.
1. Heat a heavy based casserole dish then add 1 tbsp ghee/2 tbps oilive oil and 1 finely chopped onion. Allow to fry till it turns golden brown.
2. Lower the heat then add 2 tbps BAKED MEATBALL spice, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger and 2 large, finely chopped, tomatoes. Cover and cook, on low heat, for about 10 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and jammy.
3. Add 1 cup of yoghurt* (room temperature), 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint, 1 cup stock. Bring this sauce to the boil.
4. Now place the eggs in the sauce. Cover and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the mince you have used). Adjust salt.
5. Serve whole or halved (as we have done in the picture) with some rice/roti and a fresh salad.
*We did not have any yoghurt at home so used 1 tbsp of tomato paste and 1 tbsp tomato sauce instead for added tartness. Instead of stock we used 1 tsp Vegetta mixed with warm water. (Covid-19 restrictions makes you adjust recipes).