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Courgette meatballs

Delicious, gently fried green-chilli hot "meatballs" of grated courgette with coriander and gram flour sitting in a puddle of delicately spicy creamy sauce

For the meatballs

For the sauce

About 500g of courgettes
1 tsp salt (preferably Malden)
2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (seeds included)
3 tbsp finely chopped onion
½ tsp peeled and very finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
50g Gram flour
Vegetable oil for frying

2 medium-sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
¼ tsp tumeric
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
225g (about 2) fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
250 ml fresh double cream
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
¼ tsp salt (preferably Malden)

To make the "meatballs"
Wash, trim and grate the courgettes. Put them into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Set them aside for an hour.

Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the courgettes by pressing little handfuls between your two palms. Save this - precious! - courgette juice for the sauce (you need about 250 ml - if you find yourself with less, make up with water, knowing that the flavour wont be as good). Dry off the bowl and put the now dry(er) courgettes back in. Add the chopped green chilli, the onion, the grated ginger and the fresh coriander. Sift the gram flour over this mixture. Mix well and form walnut-sized meatballs - you’ll probably get about 12-16.

Fry these meatballs in a little vegetable oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until they turn a lovely reddish-brown colour. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm.

To make the sauce
Fry the onion over a high heat for 8 minutes or so, until they start to turn brown at the edges. Taking the pan off the heat for a moment, add the tumeric, chilli powder, ground cumin and ground coriander. Stir once and put back on the heat. Stir for about 10 second, and then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and fry on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the courgette juice, bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. The add the cream, garam masala, ground roasted cumin and salt. Mix well, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the meatballs to the sauce, and cook - very gently - for 2-3 minutes, spooning the sauce over them the whole time.

Serves 4.

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