Kofta Curry - Meat balls in a spicy gravy

Kofta Curry is an Indian recipe for Beef or lamb balls cooked in a gravy. Also known as keema ke kofte or meat balls curry.

Although the koftas (meat balls) are deep fried, this recipe is worth a try for even the calorie conscious. Try just one time and you will want to make it again.

If you prefer not to deep fry the meat balls then read the note at the end of the recipe.

This is an excellent ground beef recipe.

To prepare the koftas (meat balls) you will need

  • 500 gm Lean Beef/Lamb mince
  • 2 medium Onions (chopped finely)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (chopped finely)
  • 2-3 Green Chilies (chopped finely)
  • 1 cup fresh Coriander leaves (chopped finely)
  • 1 Egg
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Tsp Black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 1 Tsp each of Coriander, Garam masala and Cumin powder (all available at any Indian store)
  • Oil for frying
The kofta curry is meant to be a hot and spicy dish but you can reduce or add more chili if you want, to suit your taste.

If you prefer a coarse texture for the koftas, then chop everything and mix as follows. If not then you can put all the ingredients in the food processor and mix together and follow the rest of the recipe.

Mix all the ingredients for koftas in a big bowl and get your hands dirty. Mash and mix well. Shape just one ball first. Now heat the oil in a pan and turn the heat to medium. Slowly put this kofta in the oil. If it breaks (which it won't), then add in the rest of the mince about 2 Tsp of Corn Flour. Mix well again and now divide the mixture into equal parts and shape them into round balls. On a medium heat fry all koftas in batches. Drain on kitchen paper.

For the gravy you will need

  • 2 Medium Onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes(pureed)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Black cardamom (crushed)
  • 2 pinches of grated nutmeg
  • ¼ Tsp mace powder
  • 200 ml yogurt
  • 1 Tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 Green chili (quartered and seeded)
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 1 Tsp of fresh cream to garnish(optional)
  • salt and red chili powder to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp oil

Long list of ingredients???Phew

Believe me it’s totally worth the time and effort. Actually in certain Indian recipes a lot of spices (whole and powdered) are used, hence the list of ingredients appears a lot. But it's not a lot when you set everything on the kitchen counter.

So lets begin.

In a non stick deep pan or kadai, heat 2-3 Tbsp oil, add the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, black cardamom and wait till it crackles. Then add the onions and on a medium heat fry till soft , then add the ginger garlic and let it all become golden brown (caramelized).

Add the tomato puree and saute well (till it is almost dry and you can see the oil coming out on the sides).

Add all powdered masalas. Keep stirring, so that everything is mixed well.

Now add the yogurt little by little and stir well. Keep the flame low or else yogurt will curdle. Sneak a taste and if it is sour enough don’t add more yogurt.

Add some hot water little by little and stir to check the consistency of the gravy (don’t make it too watery).

Bring this gravy to a boil, mix the koftas, place the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring gently occasionally. Add more hot water if the gravy is too thick. Add the slit green chili and simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander and cream. Enjoy your kofta curry with naan, tandoori roti (or any other bread) or rice. It's your call.

Kindly Note:-KOFTA CURRY without deep frying.
If you don’t want to deep fry the meat balls at all then u can try boiling them (it wont taste the same though). Boil ample water in a saucepan on full flame and slip 2-3 koftas at a time. Let them boil, don’t move them immediately or else they will break. After some time they will float to the top, then you can stir gently to make sure they are not sticking together. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Take them out and proceed with the gravy as mentioned. Simmer in gravy for a good 45 minutes so that the gravy is soaked in.

If you liked this kofta curry you might want to try some more meat recipes

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