Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kandahar Chicken Kofta In Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

I would like to share this recipe from my cookbook, “The Dance of Spices” published by John Wiley & Sons.

Here is my twist on chicken kofta (meatball) curry this one is more delicate with subtle spices and a hint of heat to balance the sweetness of grapefruit juice. Serve this delicious entrée with crusty bread or rice.

For the Kofta (meatballs)
1 pound ground chicken
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup good chicken stock, or water

For the Sauce
8 large cloves garlic
2/3 cup cashew pieces
2 medium ripe tomatoes, or 2/3 cup canned pureed tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ruby-red grapefruit juice, preferably fresh
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Chopped chives, for garnish

1. To prepare the kofta: Place the ground chicken in a bowl. Separate the clumps of meat with a fork. Add the cinnamon and salt and mix thoroughly. Using a small ice cream scoop for even size, scoop about a tablespoon of the meat mixture at a time and shape into a smooth 1-inch ball with your fingers. You should have about 24 koftas. Place the koftas in a heavy skillet. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cove and simmer, turning once, until koftas are tender, about 15 minutes.

2. To prepare the sauce: While the chicken is cooking, place the garlic in a blender with 3 to 4 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl. Add the cashews to the blender with about ½ cup of water, process to a smooth paste, and transfer to a bowl. Blanch the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute to loosen the skin. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel, core, and chop coarsely. Transfer to a blender and process to make 2/3 to 1 cup of puree. (Skip this step if using canned pureed tomato).

3. Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until it is fragrant and starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cayenne and stir for a few seconds. Add the cashew paste and cook, stirring, until well blended and the oil starts to separate, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, water and salt, and bring to a boil; cook, stirring until the sauce is thickened and takes on a beautiful reddish hue 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the grapefruit juice, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cream, the koftas along with their cooking stock and the nutmeg. Cook, stirring gently, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, top with chives, and serve hot. Serves 4