Chicken Kofta Curry

April 28, 2011


This week, I made Chicken Kofta Curry, which is a dish that consists of chicken meatballs (or 'koftas') that are cooked in a flavorful gravy. It's served over Basmati rice, and garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

The recipe I used for this dish comes from Show me the Curry, which is one of my favorite resources for homemade Indian cuisine. I chose it because I wanted to experiment with the homemade Garam Masala that Matt and I made last week, and I wasn't disappointed. The only change I would make to the recipe is the method in which the koftas are prepared: instead of dropping them straight into the gravy raw, I feel it would improve their texture to first brown them in a frying pan. Either way, it's up to you. And either way, it'll taste amazing.

Chicken Kofta Curry

1 pound ground/minced chicken
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
3 cloves
1" stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium tomatoes (or one 15-ounce can) processed in a food processor until liquid
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups water
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Mix all of the ingredients for the Koftas in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Using a mortar and pestle, lightly grind the cardamom seeds and cloves until they are crushed. Heat the oil over medium in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Once the oil has warmed, add the stick of cinnamon, bay leaf, and the ground cardamom/cloves. Quickly add the onion and salt, and stir, continuing to cook over medium heat until the onion has become dehydrated and browned (10-15 minutes).

Once the onion is ready, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute or two. Add the tomato paste and the processed tomatoes, and stir to combine. Once the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes, lower the heat to medium-low, and add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala. Cook for one minute longer.

Add the yogurt and the water, stirring continuously. Increase the heat to medium again, and allow the gravy to come to a boil. Taste and adjust the salt or spices as needed.

Remove the Kofta mixture from the refrigerator. Wet your hands with water to prevent the mixture from sticking, and form into small meatballs. Drop them into the gravy gently, making sure not to disturb them once they're submerged. (If you wish, you can brown the sides of the koftas in a frying pan before submerging them in the gravy.) Once all of the koftas are formed and are submerged, cover the pot and allow the meatballs to simmer for 25 minutes on medium-low heat.

After 25 minutes have passed, remove the lid and gently stir the mixture. Turn off the heat, and cool for five minutes. Serve over a bed of basmati rice, and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Recipe from Show me the Curry.

P.S. I added 1/2 cup frozen peas the gravy, which wasn't part of the original recipe.


  1. mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    this looks amazing!


  2. This sounds really good and I think I might have most of the ingredients from your last Indian recipe. I went on a 'spice' shopping trip to stock up and will be making that this weekend. I like the sound of this one with the chicken but will brown them off first as you suggest.

    Hope you get some sun this weekend!

  3. I love garam masala, it has such a great spicy yet not overpowering flavor. This dish sounds wonderful, too! The ginger-garlic paste must be an awesome addition to any dish :)

  4. Holy cow. Just stumbled on your blog and I am so glad I did! This recipe looks delish!!!! :) You have such a cute and well put-together blog! Definitely going to subscribe. Would love for you to visit my site if you get a chance. I'm having a giveaway you may like.