Hot n Sour Meatballs In Gravy / Koftay Ka Saalan

Serves 4-5

Ingredients for the meatballs:
1 lb ground beef/lamb/mutton
2 tsp ground pomegranate seeds/anardana (or substitute with 1-2 tsp lemon zest)
2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 slices white bread, crusts removed

Method: Grind up all of the above ingredients together in a food processor, till well mixed. Then shape it into balls, about 1 inch in diameter approximately. Set aside.

Ingredients for the gravy:
2 tbsp canola oil
2 onions, finely sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground pomegranate seeds/anardana (or substitute with juice of a half or full lemon)
2 cloves
4 green cardamom
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp small green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 cups yogurt, slightly whipped
2 cups beef stock
8-10 curry leaves/kadi patha
Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Saute onions in the oil over medium-high heat till they are golden. Add in the sesame seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, ginger-garlic, and green chillies, and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt, red chilli powder and pomegranate seeds powder (if using).

2. Slowly add the yogurt and keep stirring it for 1-2 mins. Turn off the heat. Once this mixture is cool, puree it in your blender.

3. In the same pan you used, pour back in the pureed sauce. Add in the beef stock and let the whole thing come to a boil.

4. Then lower the heat to medium-low and gently add the meatballs in, one by one. Sprinkle the fresh curry leaves over the top, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and let the whole thing cook away for about 20 mins. Stir it occasionally, but be gentle so as not to break up the meatballs.

5. If you're not using the pomegranate seeds powder, then substitute it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice at the end of the cooking process - how much depends on how sour you'd like it to be, so taste as you go along! You can thicken the gravy by letting it simmer without the lid for an additional 5-10 mins if you want. Garnish with chopped cilantro. This dish goes wonderfully with any kind of bread - to help sop up that amazing gravy - or with hot basmati