Koftas – Indian Style Meatballs

Recipe for Koftas - Indian Style Meatballs

Koftas – Indian Style Meatballs


  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 TBSP finely grated ginger
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1/4 TSP ground cloves
  • 1/4 TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 TSP grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 TSP ground black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 TSP salt or to taste
  • 5 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 7-8 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. Combine lamb, ginger, cumin, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne, salt and 3 tablespoons of the yogurt in a large bowl. Mix well. Wet hands and shape mixture into approximately 24 koftas, 2-3 inches long and 1-inch thick.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed (or cast iron) skillet. When hot, add whole spices: cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole cloves and bay leaves. Stir.
  3. Add meatballs in a single layer and fry on medium-high heat until lightly browned on all sides. Beat remaining yogurt and warm water. Pour yogurt-water mixture over the meatballs and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs every 8 minutes.
  4. After a half hour, all of the liquid should have evaporated, leaving only grease in the pan. If necessary, turn the heat up to evaporate the yogurt-water mixture.
  5. Remove koftas with a slotted spoon, leaving the whole spices behind. Serve with basmati rice.


Recipe and Photo: Foodista / CC BY

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