There are few foods we, as a family, avoid. Meatloaf is as close as it gets. When I think of meatloaf, I think of the dry, onion-soup-mix-infused, dense slice of “meat” from my youth. (Sorry, Mom.) Despite my Mom’s best efforts, I never took to the American classic. And once I realized ketchup was a component, I vowed never to eat it again. (Sorry, also very un-American.) Fortunately for me, my husband shares my disdain for meatloaf and is happy to reserve his beloved condiment for a sandwich or eggs.
When I came across this recipe for beef kofta, it was promoted as a “meatloaf.” I angled my cursor for the “X” at the right hand corner of my screen. But before I could click, I noticed a mouth-watering list of spices in the ingredient list. With an open mind and a pantry of spices calling to me, I figured it was worth a shot to expose Rice Kernel to something different.
Koftas are meatballs that originated in Persia and spread into India, Southeast Asia, and the Balkan Peninsula. As far as I can tell, they are typically grilled on skewers or cooked into a curry. Seasoned with a bevy of immune-boosting spices, there is a flavor harmony that is reminiscent of traditional Indian curries. Best of all, with plenty of minced vegetables and herbs, these meatballs are moist and succulent without added fat. They were delicious stuffed into a pita with vegetables (for me) and over brown basmati rice for the boys – with a liberal dressing of tangy, warm, and aromatic homemade curry.
After this successful experiment, maybe I’m ready to give meatloaf a try…. Anyone care to weigh in and offer a delectable meatloaf recipe?
Beef Koftas, adapted from Anton Health Recipes
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic gloves, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen spinach, drained
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
- Combine all ingredients and form into meatballs or thick sausages.
- Baking option: You can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs.
- Grilling/Skewer option: Thread meaballs or sausages onto the skewers and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning once.
- Simmering option: Please meatballs in curry (recipe below) and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.
- Serve with pitas or rice.
1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut butter or ghee for a more traditional version)
1 onion, fine diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-inch-piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 cups pureed tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp curry spice blend
1 tbsp honey, agave nectar or sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra leaves for garnish
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional – that’s primarily where our spice came from)
- Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomato puree, coconut milk, water, curry spice blend, sweetener, salt and garam masala.
- Turn the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until warmed through (aboiut 5 minutes). If cooking meatballs in the curry, simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
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