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4.8 from 5 votes
Pakistani kofta curry
Kofta Curry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Kofta curry is a recipe for deliciously spiced traditional Pakistani meatballs, that are served in a creamy sauce and saffron rice.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Pakistani
Servings: 6 people
Author: Vera Abitbol
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
  1. Mix all the kofta ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form small meatballs the size of a walnut and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Sweat the onion in pan with hot oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili and spices and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the meatballs and sauté them so that they are golden on all sides.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve the meatballs, topped with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve saffron rice on the side (recipe below)
Saffron rice
  1. Rinse the rice and drain well.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the rice and mix for 5 minutes until the rice soaks the oil and turns yellow.
  4. Add 3 cups of boiling water, and add salt.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover as tightly as possible and cook for about 20 minutes.