Ostrich Kofta Curry – a spin on Rick Stein’s Beef Kofta Curry
They are firm staples in my kitchen – Rick in the form of his cookbooks and ostrich minced or in fillets or steaks in my freezer. Bold, honest and easy to adapt, they have never let me down in a culinary spin (yes, I note that I’ve cheekily likened Rick Stein to ostrich meat, but I hope you’ll indulge me).
Rick Stein makes a glorious Bangladeshi Beef Kofta Curry in his book Far Eastern Odyssey and I saw no reason not to substitute with ostrich mince- it’s lean, inexpensive and so easily available here in Cape Town.
I have made Rick’s curry his way (which is a just a tad labourious, but very flavoursome), but I find my way with a few less steps works equally well. If you make this curry the day before, as with most spiced dishes, the spices will mingle and deepen overnight. Always check the seasoning again, before serving.
300 g onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 T vegetable oil + extra for frying
2 t coriander powder
2 t cumin powder
2 t garam masala
3 t medium-hot masala or chilli flakes (adjust to preference)
1/2 t turmeric
500 g ostrich( or beef/lamb) mince
1 large free range egg
3 T bread crumbs
4 green cardamom pods, crushed slightly
1 large cinnamon stick
2 green chillis, slit lengthwise
400 g peeled, chopped tomataoes
1 T tomato puree
1 t brown sugar
12 curry leaves
salt, to taste
On the stove, heat a a large, heavy based pan on medium. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
Before they start to brown add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric and masala and fry for 30 seconds or so, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Lower heat if necessary. Set aside to cool.
Add ostrich mince to a mixing bowl. Add half the cooled onion/spice mixture.
Add the egg, breadcrumbs and salt to taste and mix.
Form into small balls (or kofta) (should yield 18-20) and lay out on a tray.
Add 60-80 ml oil to the pan (you can use the same pan you fried the onions in if it’s teflon coated and there are no bits left in the pot). and heat on medium- high heat.
Fry the ostrich kofta quickly until sealed on all sides and slightly browned.
Dry with paper towels and set aside.
In a wide, heavy based pot, heat 2 T of oil on medium.
Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon, half the curry leaves and cloves and fry for a few seconds.
Add the green chillis and remaining onion/spice mix and stir.
Add the canned tomato, tomato puree and sugar and stir.
Now, carefully place the ostrich kofta in the the sauce and cook for 20 minutes, lowering the heat slightly, until done and the sauce has reduced.
Place the remaining curry leaves over, garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice or roti/flat bread.