Kofta, meatballs in tomato sauce.
Kofta is the quintessential South Sudanese soul food; rich, spicy, flavorful and just plain yummy. It is the first thing to go in a party. You know it is a special occasion when your mother cooks kofta at home. This is how to make kofta: Mix minced meat with a variety of spices, minced onions and undercooked rice into oval shaped meatballs. Fry the minced meatballs in a cast iron pan. Separately cook a hearty thick stew of onions, tomatoes and tomato paste, and add fried meatballs to soak in the stew.
Please do not confuse kofta with Italian meatballs and spaghetti, which I find bland and sweet. Kofta is 10 times tastier, as it is cooked with tender loving care using fresh ingredients. Kofta is often times eaten with bread.
- 1.5 pounds of minced meat
- Onions, diced
- ¼ cup of rice boiled in water for 15 minutes to get it halfway cooked
- Spices: Freshly ground black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin, cinnamon. I use a pestle and mortar to grind these.
- Garlic: I use a pestle and mortar to make it into a paste.
- Mix the minced meat with 1 teaspoon of the the above spices, ¼ of an onion finely sliced, salt. Add the partially cooked white rice. Add salt. Mix thoroughly using hands.
- Shape into oval meatballs.
- Fry in a cast iron pan on medium heat, with a low amount of oil. The goal is to brown the outside and cook on the inside, please note this is not a deep fry. It took me 5 minutes to fry each batch.
- Set that aside and work on the tomato sauce. It took me about 30 minutes to make the sauce.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a pot, fry the diced onion until golden brown.
- Add 4 tomatoes, diced. Keep stirring, add small amounts of water to prevent burning. As it cooks use edge of wooden spoon or your lofrega to mash the onions and tomatoes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and ½ cup of tomato sauce.. This is to thicken the sauce.
- Add 1 tablespoon of garlic paste.
- Add the rest of your spice mix.
- Slice 1 green pepper and add to the stew mix.
- Add the fried meatballs to the stew, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn heat off.
- Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley to add color. Serve.