We are what we eat.
There is more to curry than meets the eye in creating harmony and balance to make body, mind, and spirit happy. Curry evolved out of India’s five-thousand-year-old healing system called Ayurveda (science of life: body, mind, and spirit), where healing with food, herbs, and spices was nature’s gift to people.
Growing up in India, my mother always impressed upon us, “Remember that spices and herbs have medicinal properties and are the heating and cooling specialists of the body. They aid the digestive process and provide heat to the body and cool it.”
Shahjahan-Style Meatballs with Noodles (Shahjehani Kofta aur Sevaiyan)
2 tablespoons roasted chickpea flour
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup hot whole milk
½ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled, sliced fine
4 cups water
2 pounds ground lamb
2 tablespoons corn oil
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup unsalted, blanched almonds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
¼ cup fresh coconut, grated
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground black cumin
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
¼ cup raisins, chopped fine
1 fresh green Thai chili, chopped fine
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
3⁄4-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated
½ cup plain yogurt, divided
2 cups water
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 pound packaged Oriental noodles
16 cups water
1 tablespoon corn oil
Soak the saffron threads in hot milk for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.
In a food processor, grind the onions and divide into two equal portions.
In a pot, add 4 cups water, lamb, salt, and chili powder. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender and the liquid has evaporated.
In a food processor, grind the lamb, egg, and roasted chickpea flour. Combine one portion of the ground onion paste and half the yogurt and blend with the lamb.
In a food processor, puree the almonds, poppy seed, coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, black cumin, clove, and saffron milk. Add two-thirds of this mixture to the lamb and knead well. Divide the lamb into sixteen equal portions and form into smooth balls.
In a small bowl, mix the chopped onion, raisins, green chili, and mint leaves; divide into sixteen equal parts.
Flatten each meatball and place 1 portion of the raisin stuffing in the center. Form into a smooth ball. Place on a platter until all the meatballs are stuffed.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, second portion of the fried ground onion mixture, almond mixture, and remaining half of the yogurt. Stir for 4-5 minutes until brown.
Add 2 cups water, stir, and boil. Drop in the meatballs and add cilantro leaves. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until meatballs are soft.
In a large pot, add 16 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil. Boil over medium heat. Add noodles and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until done. Drain immediately in a colander.
On a platter, arrange the meatballs on top of the noodles. Serve hot with salad and cilantro chutney.
Visit my website www.feastofindia.net to check out my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016).