A Kofta Curry Recipe

Kofta Meatball Curry

The Spruce

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
507 Calories
25g Fat
19g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 507
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 259mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 51g
Calcium 104mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


  • 1 kg. beef mince
  • 5 onions (chopped very fine)
  • 4 tbsp. garlic paste (divided)
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste (divided)
  • 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
  • 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)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

  2. Put the minced beef, 2 of the chopped onions, 2 tablespoons of garlic paste, 1 tablespoons ginger paste, 2 tablespoons of garam masala, tomato ketchup, and coriander leaves in a large bowl and mix well.

    Ground meat for kofta meatballs.
     The Spruce
  3. Form the mixture into equal-sized balls and keep on a plate.

    Shaped kofta meatballs.
     The Spruce
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the remaining onions. Fry until they are light brown then add the remainder of the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute.

    Onions, garlic past and ginger in the frying pan.
     The Spruce
  5. Add all the powdered spices (coriander, cumin, red chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala, and turmeric) before frying for two to three minutes.

    Kofta spices added to the frying pan.
     The Spruce
  6. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Fry the masala till the oil begins to separate from it.

    Tomatoes added to the frying pan for kofta.
     The Spruce
  7. 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.

    Kofta added to the masala to cook.
     The Spruce
  8. 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.

    Homemade kofta meatballs.
     The Spruce
  9. Serve with jeera rice and kachumbar salad and enjoy!