Kofta/kofte are fried meat or vegetable balls which are then dunked in a smooth tomato based curry/sauce. I am pretty sure I don’t need to “sell” this recipe to you. Meatballs are comfort food in any cuisine all over the world, right?
If you are making vegetable kofta, boiled and mashed potatoes would be the main ingredient. For a non-vegetarian option, any kind of minced or ground meat will work. We get fresh chicken, feta and spinach sausages at our grocery store. Boy loves it when I make them into little meatballs, with an egg, some onions and breadcrumbs added to the mixture. I serve it on pasta with a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce.
This time I decided to bake the meatballs and make kofta curry instead. It was a huge huge hit. The curry is delicately spiced, very mild. It is not a fiery hot curry as it has very little chili powder. The curry is typically served in restaurants with lots of heavy cream in it, earning it the name malai (cream) kofta. I used a little yogurt instead and skipped the cream altogether. If you are vegan, you can use vegetable koftas and coconut milk to make this curry.
Serve the curry with plain rice, pulao, chapathis or naan. Needless to say, the plain meatballs are a great snack or finger food too.
CHICKEN KOFTA (MEATBALLS) CURRY
You will need:
For the chicken meatballs or kofta,
- Ground or finely minced chicken – 1 lb (Can also use sausage meat like I did)
- Egg – 1
- Onion – 1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped
- Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
- Cilantro leaves – a few, chopped
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp (skip if you used seasoned sausage meat)
- Breadcrumbs – 1/4 – 1/2 cup (as required to bind the mixture)
- Oil – for brushing
For the curry/sauce,
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Whole spices – 1″ cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 dried bay leaf
- Onion – 1 large, ground to a paste
- Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Tomatoes – 2 large, pureed
- Tomato paste or ketchup – 1 tbsp (optional, mainly for color)
- Cilantro leaves – a small handful, chopped
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Yogurt – 1/4 cup, lightly whipped
- Water – 2 – 2 1/2 cups
- Salt – as per taste
- Kofta: In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for kofta except breadcrumbs and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs initially, add more later if needed. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator while you pre-heat the oven.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F and line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly brush the foil with oil.
- Make small balls with the mixture and place on the baking sheet. You should get 20-25 balls, depending on how you roll them. Make them slightly flattened at the top so that they cook evenly in the oven. Brush the tops of each meatball lightly with oil.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or till done. Remove and cool the kofta balls while you prepare the sauce/curry. The meatballs can be prepared one or two days in advance and refrigerated.
- Alternately, the kofta can be deep-fried in hot oil.
- Kofta curry: In a large, wide pan, heat the oil. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and coarsely ground cloves and cardamom. When they sputter and turn aromatic, add the onions and saute till they turn golden brown.
- Now add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone. Add the tomato puree and tomato paste/ketchup. Cook till the mixture is thickened and the oil starts to separate at the sides.
- Now add some cilantro leaves (reserving a few for the final garnish) and the masala powders and saute for a minute.
- Turn the heat all the way down and slowly stream in the yogurt, stirring all the while. (If you do this on high heat, the yogurt may curdle.) Add water and slowly bring to a boil on medium heat. Cook this gravy for 5-10 minutes or till it is thickened and season with salt.
- Add the prepared kofta balls and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.
- You can substitute chicken with ground beef, lamb or turkey.
- You can add a bit of heavy cream or cashew nut paste to the gravy to make it richer.
- The final color of the curry will depend on the chili powder used and also the tomatoes. Kashmiri chili powder gives a deeper color with moderate spiciness. You can add some tomato paste or a little ketchup to give some color. Another sneaky tip is to add just a little bit of soy sauce to darken the curry, not much to influence the taste, maybe just a teaspoon to give a little color. But remember that if you use cream or cashew nut paste, the color will further lighten, no matter what you do.
- The sausage meat I used had spinach mixed in. You can sneak in any other vegetables too. What better way to feed picky eaters?!
- The fried or baked kofta balls are excellent as a snack or appetizer too.
I hope you will try this delicious and aromatic curry. The recipe is so easy to scale up or down to feed as many people as you wish.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Novice Gardener
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn