Sunday, 27 July 2014

Nargisi Koftay - Pakistani Style Curried Scotch Eggs

Ramzan is finally over! Phew! We are celebrating Eid in far east on Monday. Fasting in peak summer is a real test of faith as well as of one’s endurance. My inquisitive non-Muslim friends often ask me, how we Muslims survive the long testing hours of fasting without food and water and soaring temperatures? I am not sure they believe me when I tell them it’s a mix of practice and unreserving faith that makes us get through very tough days of fasting and sleep deprivation.

Now that ramzan is over, it’s that time of the year when we feast (read: over eat). Eid menus are planned out days ahead and tons of sweet and savory delicacies line up the dinner tables and tea trollies. At ammi’s house, there was a bit of set menu for Eid ul Fitar.  Breakfast will always have boiled vermicelli served with hot milk. Abbu liked having a bowl of it before heading for Eid namaz.  Dessert will be either Sheer Khurma or a dense milky Kheer – rice pudding. Haleem is always a non-negotiable which is prepared a day ahead of Eid. The tea trolley will be decked with savory spicy channa chaat and some gulab jamans. All guests coming to the house will enjoy all of these things for 2-3 days of Eid, meaning ammi will prepare these things in large quantities. Fresh channa chaat will be made every day and will be served with lemonade or tea.

For Eid lunch, there would be a pulao, a kofta curry for sure and some special chicken dish of hers. I don’t remember eating nargasi koftas at home a lot, but they were cooked only on very special occasions or for some very special guests. I am sharing my recipe of Nargisi koftas that fits Eid festival perfectly.

Eid Mubarak to everyone back home! Please don’t forget to include the less fortunate ones in our festivities and especially remember nearly one million people displaced from their homes as Pakistan fights the battle for its survival. Let’s hope that tomorrow will be a better day!

Ingredients for Koftay- Scotch Eggs

Minced beef – ½ kg
Chickpea lentil - Channa Daal – ½ cup – soaked overnight
Garlic 5-6 cloves
Ginger – 2 inch
Onion – 1 medium sized (chopped)
Green Chilies – 2 medium sized
Water - 1 ½ cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2
Dry Spices:
Whole Cloves – 8
Whole black Peppercorn – 10
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Black Cardamom – 2
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp heaped
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp heaped
Whole dried red chilies – 3 - Round  
Egg – 1 for coating
Oil – 1 cup – for deep frying
Eggs – 8 (hard boiled)

Ingredients for curry

Onions – 3 Large
Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
Ginger/Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Oil – 6 tbsp
Dry Spices:
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp heaped - Crushed
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp heaped - Crushed
Whole black peppercorn -6
Cloves – 5
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom pods – 3
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Yogurt – 1/3 cup

Koftay - Scotch Eggs : Make this mixture a day ahead.
  1. Dry roast all the spices and grind them in a spice mill.
  2. Add minced beef, ginger, garlic, green chilies, onion, channa lentil, ground spices, salt and water in a pan. Cook it over medium heat for 45 mins till the water dries up and the lentil is fully cooked. Let it cool down completely.
  3. Add the cooked minced meat to a food processor. Add 2 eggs, 1 medium green chili and grind everything finely. Store it in a sealed container overnight in the fridge.
  4. Next day: Wrap hard boiled eggs in the minced meat.
  5. Coat it with a lightly beaten egg and deep fry on high heat.
  6. Brown the koftas carefully. While frying, do not touch them unless needed as they can crumble and break, remove on kitchen paper.

Curry :

  1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry onions till translucent. Add ginger/ garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 mins on high heat. Add a cup of water and boil. 
  3. Blend the onions & tomatoes in to a fine paste in a liquidizer.
  4. Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil in the same pan and fry the dry spice.
  5. Add the paste to the oil and cook till water dries up and oil comes out on the side. Be careful as the water dries up, boiling hot bubbles can burn your hands. Cover the pan as the water dries up.
  6. Add yogurt and cook till water dries up.
  7. Add 2 ½ cups of water and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer till oil comes out on the top.

Serving: Ladle the hot curry in a serving dish. Cut the fried koftas in half and arrange them on the curry. Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve it with homemade flat bread – chappati or Naan.