How to Make Delicious Kofta Curry: A Step-by-Step Guide with Serving Suggestions

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine sinking your teeth into tender, spiced meatballs swimming in a rich, aromatic gravy—that’s the magic of kofta curry. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this dish combines succulent koftas made from minced meat or vegetables with a luscious tomato-based sauce infused with exotic spices. It’s a perfect blend of flavors that promises to tantalize your taste buds.


To prepare a delectable kofta curry, you need to gather the following ingredients separated into two main categories.

For the Kofta

  • 1 pound ground lamb (or beef)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1-inch piece ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 green chili (finely chopped, optional for heat)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

For the Curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1-inch piece ginger (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder or paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 large tomatoes pureed
  • ½ cup plain yogurt whisked
  • ¾ cup water adjust as needed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Required Tools and Equipment

To prepare a delectable kofta curry, you will need the following tools and equipment to ensure a smooth cooking process:

Cooking Tools

  • Large Mixing Bowl: For combining kofta ingredients evenly.
  • Sharp Knife: To finely chop onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Cutting Board: A sturdy surface for chopping vegetables safely.
  • Grater or Microplane: Ideal for grating ginger and garlic.

Cooking Equipment

  • Large Skillet or Frying Pan: Perfect for frying the koftas until golden brown.
  • Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Dutch Oven: Essential for making the curry sauce to ensure even heat distribution.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring both the koftas while frying and the curry sauce during cooking.

Measuring Instruments

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements of spices, yogurt, and other ingredients are crucial to achieving the perfect flavor balance.
  • Blender or Food Processor (Optional): Can be used to puree tomatoes if you prefer a smoother curry sauce texture.

Ensure you have these tools ready before you start cooking your kofta curry. This preparation will help streamline your workflow in the kitchen.

Prep Work

Before diving into cooking, ensure all ingredients are prepped and ready. This organized approach will make the cooking process smooth and enjoyable.

Preparing the Kofta Mixture

  1. Gather Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  1. Mixing:
    Place the ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, garam masala, ground cumin, and salt.
  2. Combine Thoroughly:
    Use your hands to mix everything well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Form Meatballs:
    Shape the mixture into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Set them aside on a plate or tray.

Sautéing Aromatics and Spices

  1. Gather Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or ghee)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Tomatoes4 medium (pureed)
Yogurt^1⁄2 cup
Water^3⁄4 cup
  1. Heat Oil:
    In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat add the oil and let it warm up.
  2. Cook Onions:
    Add sliced onions to the pot stirring occasionally until they turn golden brown around ~10 minutes.
  3. Add Garlic & Ginger:
    Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger cooking for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Incorporate Spices:
    Sprinkle in ground cumin coriander and turmeric stirring constantly for about one minute to toast spices lightly.
  5. Tomato Puree Addition:
    Pour pureed tomatoes into the pot reducing heat slightly letting it simmer for approximately five minutes allowing flavors meld together.

Cooking Process

Follow these steps to bring your kofta curry together seamlessly.

Cooking the Koftas

  1. Heat Oil in a Pan: Place a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and let it heat up.
  2. Fry the Koftas: Once the oil is hot, gently place the prepared meatballs (koftas) into the skillet. Cook them until they are browned on all sides, turning occasionally for even cooking. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove and Set Aside: Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the koftas from the skillet and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

Making the Creamy Tomato Sauce

  1. Sauté Onions: In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add finely chopped onions (about 2 large onions) and sauté until golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add Garlic and Ginger: Stir in 4 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Incorporate Spices: Add ground coriander (1 teaspoon), ground cumin (1 teaspoon), turmeric powder (½ teaspoon), red chili powder (½ teaspoon), and garam masala (½ teaspoon). Stir well to combine with the onion mixture for about 1 minute.
  4. Cook Tomatoes: Add pureed tomatoes from two medium-sized tomatoes or one can of crushed tomatoes into the pot. Cook this mixture until it thickens slightly, around 5-7 minutes.
  5. Blend in Yogurt: Lower the heat to prevent curdling, then gradually stir in half a cup of plain yogurt until fully incorporated into the sauce.
  6. Add Water & Simmer: Pour in one cup of water; mix well to create a smooth sauce consistency. Let it come to a gentle boil before reducing heat to low and simmering for another 10 minutes.
  7. Combine Koftas with Sauce: Gently place your cooked koftas into the simmering curry sauce ensuring they are submerged well within it; cover partially allowing flavors blend together by simmering dish further an additional period lasting roughly ten more additional appointed duration units known colloquially under nomenclature designated as ‘minutes.’
  8. Final Adjustments & Garnish: Taste test final product adjusting salt levels accordingly then optionally garnish fresh cilantro leaves prior serving alongside steaming basmati rice naan bread enhancing overall dining experience tremendously through meticulous attention detail invested throughout entire process culminating delightful culinary creation sure impress family friends alike!

Assembling the Kofta Curry

Once you have prepared the koftas and curry sauce, it’s time to assemble your delicious kofta curry. Follow these steps for perfectly combined flavors:

  1. Combine Koftas with Sauce:
  • Gently place the browned koftas into the simmering curry sauce.
  • Ensure each meatball is fully submerged in the sauce to absorb all the rich flavors.
  1. Simmer Together:
  • Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  1. Check Consistency:
  • After 20 minutes, check the consistency of your curry.
  • If too thick, add a little water; if too thin, let it reduce uncovered for a few more minutes.
  1. Adjust Seasoning:
  • Taste your curry and adjust spices as needed.
  • Add salt or garam masala if necessary to enhance flavor.
  1. Garnish:
  • Turn off the heat once satisfied with taste and consistency.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro for a burst of freshness.

Now your kofta curry is ready to serve! Enjoy this aromatic dish with steamed rice or warm naan bread for a complete meal experience.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing the Koftas in Advance

  1. Mix and Shape the Koftas: Combine all ingredients for the kofta mixture, following your recipe. Shape them into uniform balls or patties.
  2. Refrigerate: Place the shaped koftas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  3. Freeze (Optional): For longer storage, freeze the uncooked koftas on the baking sheet until solid (about 2-3 hours). Transfer frozen koftas to an airtight container or freezer bag, separating layers with wax paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to one month.

Making the Curry Sauce Ahead

  1. Cook and Cool: Prepare your curry sauce as directed in your recipe. Allow it to cool completely at room temperature.
  2. Store in Refrigerator: Transfer cooled curry sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.
  3. Freeze (Optional): For extended storage, pour cooled curry sauce into a freezer-safe container or zip-lock bag, leaving some space for expansion. Freeze for up to two months.

Reheating and Serving

  1. Thaw if Frozen:
  • Koftas: Thaw frozen koftas overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Curry Sauce: Thaw frozen curry sauce by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or using a microwave defrost setting.
  1. Heat Curry Sauce: Warm refrigerated or thawed curry sauce over medium heat until simmering gently.
  2. Add Koftas:
  • If refrigerating thawed raw koftas, cook them according to your recipe before adding them to the sauce.
  • If using pre-cooked refrigerated/thawed koftas, simply add them directly into simmering curry sauce.
  1. Simmer Together: Simmer assembled dish over low heat until everything is heated through and flavors meld together (10-15 minutes).
  2. Serve Fresh: Serve hot with rice or naan bread when ready.

Serving Suggestions

When serving Kofta Curry, you want to ensure that each element complements the rich and vibrant flavors of the dish. Here are some optimal ways to present and enjoy your Kofta Curry:

With Basmati Rice

Serve your Kofta Curry over a bed of fluffy basmati rice. The long grains of basmati perfectly soak up the aromatic curry sauce, providing a fragrant base for the savory koftas.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Rinse 1 cup of basmati rice under cold water until water runs clear.
  2. In a pot, combine rinsed rice, 1.5 cups of water, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and cover.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  5. Fluff with a fork before serving.

With Naan Bread

Pairing Kofta Curry with warm naan bread allows you to scoop up every bit of the delicious sauce and tender meatballs.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place naan directly on the oven rack or baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 3-4 minutes or until warm.
  4. For an extra touch, brush with melted butter or ghee before serving.

Accompanied by Cucumber Raita

A side of cucumber raita brings a cooling contrast to the spicy kofta curry, balancing flavors beautifully.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cucumber finely grated
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a bowl combine yogurt and finely grated cucumber.
  2. Stir in ground cumin and add salt to taste.
  3. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Garnished with Fresh Herbs

Enhance your presentation by garnishing Kofta Curry with freshly chopped cilantro or mint leaves which adds freshness and color.


  1. Wash fresh cilantro or mint thoroughly under cold running water.
  2. Pat dry using paper towels or spin dry in a salad spinner.
  3. Finely chop herbs using a sharp knife just before serving.


Mastering kofta curry not only brings authentic flavors to your dining table but also enriches your culinary skills. With detailed preparation and make-ahead tips, you can easily manage your kitchen time and enjoy a stress-free cooking experience. By following the guide, you’re set to create a delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

Serve it with basmati rice or naan bread and don’t forget those fresh herbs and lemon wedges for an added touch. Whether it’s a family dinner or a special gathering, kofta curry is sure to impress everyone around the table. Enjoy every bite of this flavorful dish!

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