The Kofta connection

 The Kofta connection

Kofta, a word that probably creates a lot of temptations in many of us who love the soft melting-in-the-mouth juicy and spiced up preparation in which both veg or non-veg options have been possible equally tasty and inviting in a saucy, creamy and aromatic gravy to go along with a nice tandoori roti or a laccha paratha!

The word “kofta” also has a connect with the Turkish word “kofte” which means to have a dish from the meatball family comprising mincemeat or ground meat/ chicken/ seafood being cooked and served with a sauce or gravy. The varieties have been so many ever since the concept picked up many years back.

Kofta also has a connect with Persia and means rissole, a preparation made with fine ground meat which comes together and binds up into a new delectable delight from a snack to a main course. Some stories say the Turko-Afghans have introduced this to the culinary world with their selective and exotic varieties in this concept.

We make various types of koftas in our Indian kitchens from the classic malai kofta curry, shakarkhandi ke kofte, palak paneer ke kofte, egg and aloo ke kofte, soy aur makhane ke kofte, Kamal Kakdi ke kofte, machli ke kofte, kache kele ke kofte, mutton, beef mince, chicken keema, pork mince etc has also been used a lot in various cuisines as well.

Here are a few of my favourite kofta recipes for all our foodies to try!



For kofta mixture
250 g peeled, boiled and mashed sweet potatoes
1 medium-sized boiled, grated/ mashed potato
Oil to fry kofta
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried anardana
½ tsp roasted and crushed jeera powder
½ tsp red chili powder
Maida/ cornflour/ breadcrumbs for binding

For kofta gravy
2 tbsp oil/ ghee
½ tsp shahi jeera
Grind these ingredients into a paste together: 3 medium-sized onions, 1-inch piece ginger, 4-5 garlic cloves, 2 red chillies and 4-5 green chillies. Add a little water to make the thick paste.
Salt to taste
2-3 bayleaf and peppercorns
Turmeric powder + red chili powder + garam masala to taste
¼ cup fresh cream
1 tbsp cashew paste
¼ cup beaten, sweet curd
1 tsp kasuri methi
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Prepare the koftas mix together in a mixing bowl and shape them into lemon sized balls and coat them with breadcrumbs/ maida/ cornflour and deep fry, keep aside. Prepare gravy base paste and cook it in oil/ ghee with shahi jeera, bayleaf, peppercorns. Add little water as needed while cooking the gravy. Oil starts to come through sides and surface once it cooks up 6-8 minutes. Add kasuri methi and mix well. Add cashew, curd, cream and slowly blend it in and it will result in a creamy textured sauce. Simmer for 5- 7 more minutes. Before serving the curry, add fried koftas and bring to a boil. Garnish with little cream and coriander. Serve hot with phulkas, parathas, missi rotis!




For kofta mixture
250 gm very finely ground chicken keema
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mix ginger-garlic-chilli paste
1 egg
Maida/cornflour as needed for binding
½ tsp garam masala powder

For cheese and nut stuffing
¼ cup grated cheese
2 tbsp chopped nuts
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

For kofta gravy
2 tbsp oil/ ghee
2 cups fried light browned onions, ground to a paste
½ tsp jeera
½ cup tomato puree
1 tbsp cashew paste + ½ cup curd + 2 tbsp cream
½ tsp kasuri methi
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Salt to taste + turmeric powder + red chili powder+ dhaniya to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp lime juice

In a mixing bowl, combine together chicken keema with all other ingredients and form into a firm smooth mixture. Apply oil on fingers and divide into lemon size portions. Flatten a little and place the cheese and nut mixture. Close well, dip in egg and coat with crumbs and fry the koftas well. I also like to poach them at times in simmering water and it comes out well too without the stuffing. One can place them on a greased tray in an oven and bake as well at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Heat oil/ ghee and saute the ingredients one by one. Add onion paste, tomato puree, salt and powdered spices to taste. Add little water and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Put in thickening agents, kasuri methi and get the gravy cooking for 4-5 more minutes. Once a little oil starts to ooze out, the gravy gets ready. Add a little lime juice and coriander turn off the flame. Arrange the koftas on a serving dish/tray and top with the hot gravy and serve it with laccha parathas/ ajwain rotis/ Pudina naan.




For kofta
50 gm makhane, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained.
100 gm grated paneer
2 cups mashed boiled potatoes
Salt and garam masala powder to taste
2 tbsp chopped mint and coriander mix
Breadcrumbs/ maida/ cornflour as needed for binding
Oil to fry the kofte

For stuffing
2 tbsp grated cheese + 2 tsp chopped raisins and cashews

For gravy
2 tbsp oil/ ghee
½ tsp shahi jeera
1 cup boiled onion paste
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp paste of dried coconut + 1 tsp poppy seeds + 2 green cardamoms+ little water
2 tbsp fresh cream + ¼ cup beaten curd + 2 tsp cashew paste
½ tsp kasuri methi
1 tbsp fresh coriander for garnish.

Prepare basic kofta mixture, stuff them coat with binding agents and fry them, keep aside. Start with the creamy white gravy base and saute the ingredients on a low to medium flame. Avoid browning, add little water as needed. Simmer the gravy once all ingredients are added and allow flavours to blend well. Finally add in the koftas and bring to a boil, check for seasoning and serve hot garnish with fried nuts/onions/ coriander leaves. This tastes good with kesari paratha/ badami warqi laccha paratha/ hari mirch wala paratha.


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