Curry & Rice Popadom puffs

My take on an Indian version of the classic Italian arancini.


Half a portion of Basic Curry paste

400ml tin of coconut milk – shaken or mixed well to mix the cream at the top of the tin with the water beneath.

50g of uncooked basmati rice

250g of finely diced leg of lamb with most of the fat trimmed (or use mince lamb)

tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)

50g flaked almonds

6 sheets of uncooked popadoms, broken into rough pieces.

1 egg – beaten

sunflower oil for frying


Fry the mince lamb in a dry saucepan, or if you are using finely chopped lamb leg, fry it in a little of the hot coconut oil. When it’s nicely browned, pour away any excess fat into a heat proof bowl for dicarding. Add the curry paste and fry for a few minutes until the fragrance is released then add 300ml of the tin of coconut milk, mix well. Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for about 20mins – add a little extra water if the sauce is getting dry – there should be fairly sloshy in sauce. After 20mins, use a slotted spoon or sieve to separate the meat from the curry sauce. Keep the sauce and the meat separately.

While the meat is cooking, wash the rice. Put in a saucepan and add 150ml of water and the remainder of the tin of coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer over a low heat, covered for about 10-15mins or until all the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Remove from the heat and leave covered for a further 15min.

Then mix the curry and rice together in a bowl, cover and allow to chill in the fridge. Put the reserved curry sauce in the fridge too.

When it’s cool, it should be a bit easier to mould the curry and rice mixture into small balls – each should be about 2 bites big! Arrange the balls in a tray, cover and return to the fridge for at least a few hrs to firm up really well. I left mine overnight and they were nice and hard and easy to work with the next day.

Put the broken popadom pieces and the almonds into a blender and whizz down to a rough powder. Tip into a big bowl

Remove the balls from the fridge and dip in the beaten egg and then the popadom powder and roll them around to cover them well. Place the balls back on a tray and return to the fridge to firm up again.

When you are ready to cook. Heat a few inches of sunflower oil to about 180c and fry the balls a few at a time until golden and crisp. You can place the balls on an oven tray and keep them warm in an oven set to about 70c until all the balls are fried.

Re-heat the reserved curry sauce with a little water if needed to create a serving sauce to dip the balls in.

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