I am a bit of a naughty magpie for getting new spices and herbs, my poor kitchen cupboards are bursting at the seams from things like tubes of Harissa paste to tubs to Polish beetroot Borszcw powder and pretty much everything inbetween – as you can see by the random recipes competition late last year I have just a few random bags and tubs!). When an email appeared in my inbox at the end of last year to try the new Bart Blends range I jumped at the opportunity to receive some to play with though making room has been a bit of a challenge!
Since their arrival I have been playing with several of them and one of my favourites was this Tandoori Beef Kofta Masala I made – so much so that I’ve now used up all of my Tandoori Masala tin after recreating it several times! It’s a gorgeous blend of spices, fragrant, not to spicy (though add a little more chilli powder if you fancy it spicy!) It also makes a lush spicy beetroot soup too! Apologies for the not so brilliant pictures – winter lighting is not very friendly!
We love meatballs here – well proper homemade ones at least, I remember my mum forcing upon us tinned ones and still shudder inside at the thought of them! These ones fortunately are delicious and serve well to erase bad memories! The sauce is fragrant, delicious and quite mild as B doesn’t care for much heat, and nor does my silly stomach at times but do feel free to add a little extra chilli if you prefer a bit more bite to it!
Serves 3 / 4 adults
1 large white onion, diced
1 large green pepper, cut into 1cm chunks
400g lean Beef steak mince
½ tbsp ginger and garlic puree
1.5 tbsp Bart Blends Tandoori Masala
1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 beaten egg
1 heaped tbsp dried breadcrumbs
3 tbsp yoghurt or crème fraiche
In a large mixing bowl combine the mince, egg, breadcrumbs and a little salt and pepper, roll into 16 meatballs and put to one side
Heat a large sauté pan, soften the onion in the oil, add the pepper and fry until lightly browned and nearly cooked through– about 5 minutes. 
Add the spice powder along with the garlic and ginger, fry for a further minute and stir in the tomatoes, cover and simmer on a medium heat for ten minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth (or use a hand blender), return to the pan and place the meatballs in the pan spaced a little apart and poach in the sauce for at least 5 minutes, covered, before gently turning around as you don’t want them to break up! 
Simmer gently for 30 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir through the yoghurt/ crème fraiche.

Pilau rice

I never really weigh rice – I go by one cup rice to one and a half cups of water always – and by cup sometimes it’s a bowl from the windowsill, probably more like two American cup sizes. Bart Blends Pilau spice is gently fragrant and my brother in particular was very impressed with it!
1 cup basamati rice
1.5 cups water
1 heaped tsp Bart Blends Pilau Rice
Heat a medium to large sized saucepan, add the Pilau spice and warm for a couple of minutes to release the fragrance, add the rice followed by the water, cover and bring to the boil for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to rest, covered for 10 minutes or until the liquid has all absorbed. Fluff up with a spoon before serving and season with salt if desired.
Serve the rice along with your curry and some chapati’s to mop up the sauce.

By andrei