Soft chicken meatballs dunked in delicious creamy gravy, all in 30 mins!!!

Meatballs are popular all over the world and loved for their sheer richness in flavor and ease to eat. They can be made with chicken, pork, beef and believe me or not, even fish! Meatballs are referred to as 'koftas' in India and some middle-eastern countries. It is a very versatile recipe that has been adopted by different countries while accommodating their regional ingredients. In some countries, they add cheese, some add breadcrumbs, some add eggs and yet some add herbs. I have eaten a particular type of kofta that is stuffed with a whole boiled egg, it is called the Nargisi Kofta (let's make that some other time). So, you see there is no unique traditional recipe.

There are koftas and then there are great koftas. Great koftas are the ones which when you bite will lead to an explosion of flavors inside your mouth. There is no easy way of making great koftas, you have to be patient and handle the koftas with love, they sure are a labor of love. They look beautiful when cooked and everyone loves them. So, the next time, you want to profess your culinary skills or want to impress that one special person, this recipe could come handy.

At our home, kofta curry is considered a delicacy and I usually make it when I have guests coming over. Tonight, however, I made the kofta curry only for the three of us. I served it with homemade mini naan. It was a quiet (hard to speak when you have something so delicious in your mouth) Friday night dinner that we thoroughly enjoyed and every bite was yummilicious. Check out the recipe here and go make it for your loved ones.

Cuisine: Indian
Category: Non-vegetarian
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb ground/minced chicken
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 10-15 cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp roughly crushed almond
  •  2 tbsp gramflour
  • 2 tbsp cilantro paste
  • 1 raw egg
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 green chilies (optional)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  1. Make a smooth paste of a bunch of cilantro, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste, and cashew nuts.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, the cilantro paste, yogurt, gramflour, crushed almonds, 1 tsp turmeric powder, and garam masala. Break an egg into it, add salt and mix everything together. Your dough for kofta is ready. Keep aside.
  3. For the gravy, heat oil in a large pan, temper with bay leaf, and whole spices. 
  4. When the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the chopped onions. Fry till golden.
  5. Now add the ginger, garlic paste, and salt. Keep cooking for a minute.
  6. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Mix everything together, you can splash some water to avoid masala from sticking to the pan.
  7. When the oil starts separating, add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes are mushy.
  8. Add the tomato puree, fresh cream, and sugar. Keep cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Now add some warm water and let the gravy simmer.
  10. Scoop a spoonful of kofta dough and place delicately into the gravy. Repeat till all the koftas are in the gravy.
  11. Cover with lid and lower the heat. Let the koftas cook for 6-8 minutes.
  12. Open the lid, mix gently and turn the koftas very carefully. Let it cook for another 4 mins.
  13. Finish off with a dash of garam masala.
  14. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.
Chef's notes:
  • You can use any ground meat like turkey, beef, or lamb.
  • If you want perfectly round koftas, oil your hands and make round kofta balls and then dunk those balls into the simmering gravy.
  • You can finish off with some ghee for added flavor.
  • Traditionally kofta curry is not hot but if you like, increase heat by adding more chili powder and/or green chilies.


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