Special Kofta (Meatball) Curry

We have been making Kofta (Meatball) curries from the time of the Mughal empire in India, recipes have been evolving over time and there is always a new one around the corner!  My mum is always looking up unique recipes, she found this unusual kofta curry recipe in a magazine and made it for us, was really yummy!  The twist is in the serving!

Best eaten with chappatis, naans or bread.


Stage 1

  • 1lb chicken/lamb/beef mince
  • 6 oz onions finely sliced
  • 1 cup Sunflower oil or any other cooking oil
  • 4 tsps gram flour (besan)
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp green chillies crushed
  • 1 tsp chillie flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs dry coriander powder
  • 1 tbs cumin powder
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper

Stage 2

  • half cup Sunflower or other oil (saved from Stage 1)
  • 3 large black cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp salt
  • half tsp red chillie powder
  • qtr tsp turmeric
  • half cup water
  • the pre-fried thinly onions
  • half cup plain yoghurt (beaten)
  • 2 tsp dry fenugreek or handful of fresh cut coriander


Stage 1

  1. Divide the onions into 3 parts, add one part into the oil, fry until brown, remove into a plate with a slotted spoon, then add another part of onions to the remaining oil, fry until just softened (do not brown), remove into a plate and save the oil for Stage 2.
  2. Heat the frying pan to a medium heat, add the gram flour, move around with a wooden spoon until slightly brown, switch off and remove into a plate.
  3. Put the mince in a deep bowl, add salt, softened onions, raw onions, dry spices, pre-browned gram flour and egg, mix well using your hands.
  4. Divide mince mixture into 15 equal portions, dip each portion briefly in cold water and make into a round, keep in a plate in single rows until all 15 meatballs are made-up. (see picture on Recipe page).

Stage 2

  1. Add the saved oil in a wide based non-stick , heat the oil, add the cardamom pods, stir and add the ginger and garlic.
  2. Add salt, red chillies and turmeric, keep cooking on medium heat, bhun the masala until dry, then add the water and cook covered on low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add pre-made koftas (meatballs) one at a time, in a single layer, keep swirling the koftas around by lifting the pan and moving it around, do not use a spoon at this stage.
  4. When the koftas begin to set and harden, gently mix in using a wooden spoon. Add half a cup of water, cook on a medium heat until the koftas are fully set and change colour.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, stir from time to time until oil separates (bhun). Add water for desired gravy, bring to the boil, simmer and switch off.
  6. Dish out koftas (meatballs) onto a platter rather than a bowl, swirl plain yogurt around koftas then sprinkle the browned onions, followed with the dry fenugreek or fresh coriander.


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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