Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nargisi Kofta (Scotch Eggs in Gravy)

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from my Just Chicken cookbook by Sharda Pargal. Essentially nargisi koftas are scotch eggs served in a gravy. The gravy is mild and not too spicy. There are some tricks to making the scotch eggs so follow those steps carefully. The recipe is long and complicated so its not something you might make after a long day but when you have the time do try it.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the scotch eggs

1 pound minced chicken
2 tbslp chana dal/bengal gram (soaked in water for 30 min)
1 medium onion very finely chopped
1 large garlic minced
1 inch piece ginger minced
Green chillies 2
cilantro leaves 1/2 cup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 egg, beaten lightly
8 eggs, hard boiled,peeled
Oil to fry

For the gravy

1 tsp ginger minced
1 tsp garlic minced
1 onion chopped finely
1 tblsp powdered cashew nuts
1 tbslp khus khus/poppy seeds
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tblsp ground dry coconut
1 cup tomato puree
2 cups chicken stock
2 strand saffron
1/4 cup heavy cream


Wash the meat. Add meat, dal, onion,ginger, garlic,salt,chilly powderand garam masala to a pressure cooker. Cook under pressure till dal cooks (about 8-10 minutes under pressure/2-3 whistles). Let the cooker cook before opening. Once opended dry out all liquid in the meat by heating till all the water evaporates. To a food processor add the meat mix. add green chillies and cilantro. Grind to a fine paste. Add the beaten egg and mix well. The egg will act as a binder.

Take some meat mixture in your hand. Flatten it. Add a boiled egg to the center and start rolling the egg with the meat coating. Coat with the meat mixture working evenly to form a nice shell around the egg. Don't add too little or too much covering of meat. Let it sit uncovered for any moisture to evaporate.

Heat oil in a pot. It is critical that the oil be very hot.. This is important because the eggs are fragile so the meat has to instantly brown up when added to oil to prevent breaking. Add each egg to hot oil. Roll gently to get all the meat browned all over. This should take no more than 30 seconds. Remove and drain all excess oil on a paper towel. Repeat for all remaining eggs. Let eggs cool. Then cut horizontally in the center into two halves.

For the gravy, heat oil in a deep pan/pot. Add onions, ginger and garlic. Fry till onions turn golden brown. Add all spices, salt, cashew nuts, poppy seeds and coconut. Fry for a minute. Add tomato puree and fry till the mixture releases oil. Add chicken stock and cook covered for 15 minutes on medium low heat. The gravy should be thick. Add cream and saffron. let it heat through. Transfer the hot gravy to the serving dish. Place eggs very gently into the hot gravy with the yolk side up. Garnish with chopped cilantro and swirls of heavy cream. Serve with rice or naans.

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