Who can resist a flavorful meatball curry?
Especially if the bright orange coconut curry has been enriched with aromatic spices and juicy beef meatballs.
A classic Asian Indian beef meatball (aka kofta) recipe for all those who love meatballs and spicy sauces! YUM
What are Koftas?
Koftas are meatballs prepared with meats such as Beef, Lamb, Pork or Chicken minced meat.
Kofta meatballs are part of various food cultures in the world.
You will find Koftas in the:
- Balkan cuisine
- Middle Eastern cuisine
- Central Asian cuisine
- South Asian cuisine
Therefore, you will learn that koftas exist in various ways and versions.
Most kofta meatballs are richly spices and include ingredients such as garlic or even ginger.
Some are treated like a kebab, other koftas are enriched by a spiced thick sauce, a curry.
How to make Meatball Curry?
The meatball curry recipe is straightforward and simple, combine all the meatball ingredients and then prepare the curry step by step.
You can prepare your own mince meat with a mince maker.
I talk about preparing meat mince from scratch in the Crépinette recipe.
This meatball curry was perfected by my sister in law who was so kind to let me share it with the world.
She had tried the old way by frying the meatballs first, however, the meatballs would end up a bit dry.
So, she developed a recipe, where the meatballs would literally get poached in the spiced curry so that the beef meatballs retain the shape + remain perfectly moist.
Another important point is the meat quality!
The quality of the beef cut makes a difference.
Ask your local butcher what he recommends.
TIP: Mixing Beef and Pork double ground minced meat, 50/50 results in soft, juicy and better-shaped meatballs.
To prepare the one-pot, meatball curry will take you about 3o minutes altogether.
10 minutes to prepare the meatballs and 20 minutes cook time altogether.
The Beef Kofta Curry makes a great lunch meal or I also enjoy it a lot as a weeknight dinner.
Remember, you can keep leftovers in the fridge, and when reheating, the flavors will be more intense, as it is with all good curries in this world.
Tools that I use to make this one pot kofta cury:
I really love my shallow Asian pans.
Those pans resemble a Wok but are smaller in size and therefore easier to work with and to store when not in use.
This includes pans such as the Balti dish or the Indian Kadhai pan.
A hard anodized kadhai pan such as this one from Futura works best for this particular meatball curry.
You can always pick a PFOA free non stick pan or a stainless steel kadhai.
Another option are those amazing le Creuset Balti pans.
Those come in different colors too and are going to last you forever.
A Balti dish can cook the curry evenly on all sides, and not just curry dishes.
You can use this pan even for western food preparations!
As a stirring and mixing spoon, use a bamboo wooden spatula such as this one from Helene Chen.
Those spatulas are the best cooking spatuals ever!
You must have noticed in my recipe video that I use these all the time.
The Bamboo spatulas are inexpensive, light weight, easy to clean and don’t scratch the pots (which is super important if you like to use PFOA-free non stick pans)
Meatball Curry – Indian Beef Kofta Recipe
For the Meatballs:
For the Curry:
- 1 Onion
- 1 Tomato
- 1 Green Chili Pepper fresh
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 8 Curry leaves or dried Curry leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds dark variety
- ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger + Garlic
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric powder aka Curcuma
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seed Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 3 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 cups Coconut milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Cilantro aka fresh Coriander, optional
- For the Meatballs, combine all meatball ingredients listed. Use only ½ of an egg because otherwise the texture of the mass turns very wet and that amount is more than enough to make it stick together. Mix the whole content to a smooth mass. Keep aside and let rest until you get to the poaching of the meatballs.
- Next, slice your clean onion and dice your tomato, slice your fresh green chili lengthwise. Heat up the olive oil in a pan and temper/stir fry the mustard seeds and fresh curry leafs until you smell the aroma of the 2 ingredients. Careful, the mustard seeds will pop and jump! Continue to add in the onion and stir fry until soft and translucent.
- Then add the diced Tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes until soft, then add the fresh green chili, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir fry for a minute, and then add the tomato paste and coconut milk. Season with Salt and Pepper. Mix and let simmer covered for 5-7 minutes. stir frequently and make sure the curry doesn’t over cook as too much heating might cause curdling of the coconut milk
- The Curry will have changed into a gorgeous bright orange. Now form your meatballs by pressing and turning them into round balls and place them into the curry. Let cook for 2 minutes and turn the meatballs in the curry so that they get equally cooked. Cover with a lid and simmer for another 3 minutes before removing the curry from the heat.
- Serve hot and garnish with freshly chopped Coriander (which I left out this time on the pictures).
2. Please only use A-grade meat quality
3. You may skip the curry leaves, but keep in mind the curry leaves give the curry the extra amazing flavors.
4. For the Curry, you can also use the basic ready-made freezer friendly paste (recipe here). This will shorten your prep and cooking time all the more.
How to serve the meatball Curry?
- Some flatbread such as Chapati or Nan
- over plain cooked rice
- Bread rolls
- Okra Stir fry
- Crispy Bitter Melon Stir fry (healthy!)