Kofta Curry

 Kofta curry is a recipe for deliciously spiced traditional Pakistani meatballs, that are served in a creamy sauce and saffron rice.


For the koftas

  •  lb ground beef
  • 3 small onions , chopped (about 2 cups/400g)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  •  teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 fresh hot pepper , finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the sauce

  • 3 onions , chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger , chopped
  •  teaspoons turmeric
  •  teaspoons ground cumin
  •  teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  •  teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 hot pepper , finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  •  lb tomatoes , peeled, seeded and crushed
  •  cup yogurt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the saffron rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron (or ground saffron)
  •  teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Kofta curry

  • Mix all the kofta ingredients in a bowl.
  • Form small meatballs the size of a walnut and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Sweat the onion in a pan with hot oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili and spices and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the meatballs and sauté them so that they are golden on all sides.
  • Add the tomato sauce and the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve the meatballs, topped with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve saffron rice on the side (recipe below)

Saffron rice

  • Rinse the rice and drain well.
  • Sweat the chopped onion over medium heat in a pan with hot oil. When translucent, add saffron and cumin seeds and mix for one minute.
  • Add the rice and mix for 5 minutes until the rice soaks the oil and turns yellow.
  • Add 3 cups (750 ml) of boiling water, and add salt.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover as tightly as possible and cook for about 20 minutes.