A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

A glut of tomatoes makes a great curry!

As of September the 1st, we have been in the midst of a tomato glut. Yes, you heard right, September 1st!

Usually the glut starts in July, when so many come along that you are going crazy with the smell of cooking tomatoes. But this year, our garden (and everyone else’s around here) has been incredibly slow.

The nice thing is that it is cooler now, so cooking puree/ketchup/everything else is much more pleasant. So far, I’ve made puree and ketchup, and Kenton and I have canned several quarts of tomatoes. It is so great on a cold winter’s day to open a jar of tomatoes and smell…summer!

Today, I also made a great recipe from the Rick Stein “Far Eastern Odyssey” cookbook. You can make it as hot (or not) as you wish, and the sauce is really thick and rich. It’s delicious, thanks very much Rick!

Kofta curry sauce

Kofta curry sauce

Rick Stein’s beef kofta curry (aka meatball curry)

This is the Indian version of Italian meatballs in tomato sauce to be served with spaghetti.  Serves six.

1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsps garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsps turmeric powder
135ml Yunquera Gold olive oil
600g onions, finely chopped
25g garlic, crushed
700g minced beef
1 tbsp beaten egg
8 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
7.5cm cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces
200g chopped tomatoes, fresh or from a can
1 tbsp tomato purée
24 curry leaves
5 green cayenne chillies, slit open lengthways

Heat a dry, heavy-based pan over a high heat. Add the coriander and cumin seeds and shake them around for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Tip them into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder, then mix with the garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric.

Heat six tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently for 10–12 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the ground spices and one teaspoon of salt and cook gently for another three to four minutes. Scrape half the mixture into a mixing bowl and leave to cool.

Add the minced beef, beaten egg and one teaspoon of salt to the spiced onion mixture in the bowl and mix together well. Shape into approximately 28 golfball-sized pieces and set aside.

Add the green cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick to the spiced onion mixture left in the pan, together with the tomatoes, tomato purée, 300ml of water, the curry leaves, chillies and another teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan.

Add the meatballs, in two batches if necessary, and fry for two to three minutes, turning them now and then until lightly browned all over. Drop them into the sauce, part-cover and simmer for 20 minutes, carefully stirring every now and then, until the meatballs have set and the sauce has thickened nicely, then serve.

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

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