A Kofta Curry Recipe

Kofta Curry
Natasa Mandic / Stocksy United
  • 65 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (86)

Kofta dishes include meatballs or meatloaf in Balkan, Central Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern food. Koftas can be full of meat, veggies, or cheese. For example, a common example of kofta balls includes paneer (cheese) or those stuffed with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Typically, these kofta balls are then tossed in a cream based curry and enjoyed with a bread (like naan) or rice. India typically serves kofta in a spiced curry or gravy while Iran and Iraq cook it in a spiced gravy or kebab. 

One popular kofta dish in north India is Malai Kofta. This recipe is vegetarian and includes koftas in a creamy, flavorful, and mild gravy that is sweet. The kofta balls are often fried with veggies and paneer and paired with roti and rice. There are many different types of kofta recipes across various cuisines, such as Mutton Kofta with meat, egg, and channa powder, Mushroom Kofta including spinach, paneer, and mushrooms, and Turkish Kofte with minced lamb, eggplant, zucchini, and basil.

The koftas in the dish below can be made to your liking and stuffed with minced beef, lamb, or chicken, for example. It makes a great meal when served with jeera rice and kachumber salad. Jeera rice is often flavored with cumin and somewhat spiced with garam masala, while kachumber salad is a simple cucumber, tomato, and onion salad recipe that pairs well with Indian curries. In fact, it's similar to pico de gallo and adds a fresh flavor that cools the overall meal down.

What You'll Need

  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 5 onions (chopped very fine)
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garam masala (for the koftas)
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 c coriander leaves chopped fine
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala (for the gravy)
  • 4 large tomatoes (cubed)

How to Make It

  • Put the minced beef, 2 of the chopped onions, 2 tbsps of garlic paste, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 2 tbsp of garam masala, tomato ketchup, and coriander leaves in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Form the mixture into equal sized balls and keep on a plate.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the remaining onions. Fry until they are light brown then add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute.
  • Add all the powdered spices (coriander, cumin, red chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala, and turmeric) before frying for two to three minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and mix well. Fry the masala till the oil begins to separate from it.
  • Add 2 cups of warm water to the masala and season with salt to taste. Gently add the meatballs. Do not stir for at least the next five minutes.
  • Stir gently so as not to break the meatballs.
  • Cook uncovered until the meatballs are done. The gravy can be as thick as you like, so add or dry up the water as needed.
  • Serve with jeera rice and kachumbar salad.