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Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

50 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 23

Beef Kofta Curry, or without a doubt kofte, is a classic Pakistani curry fabricated from soft meatballs simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. This recipe has all the traditional taste of old-fashioned kofte but it’s made in an simpler, greater approachable way.

Pakistani Food Vs Indian Food

Every so often i get asked about the distinction among Pakistani & Indian meals.

Reality is, delicacies is not national; a person-made border won’t all of sudden make you consume otherwise than your neighbor. there is plenty of overlap.
That stated, there are distinct differences by place.

The majority of the meals I grew up consuming – the kebabs, pulaos, biryanis, and kormas – is Moghul-stimulated and more famous in Pakistan and North India. This delicacies additionally happens to be greater mainstream right here in the West.

There may be a whole lot extra to the situation, however it’s secure to mention that red meat – because of cultural and non secular reasons – is greater generally eaten in Pakistan. And that’s why I frequently seek advice from many of my red meat recipes as ‘Pakistani’.

How to Make Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry

To make kofta curry, you put together the meatballs after which set them aside while preparing the curry. bring the curry to a boil, then decrease the heat and add the meatballs. cover, stirring as soon as in between to make certain even cooking, and permit to simmer till the meatballs are cooked via.

Koftas are traditionally deep-fried earlier than simmering within the curry. in the interest of fitness and ease, I’ve left out that step, relying alternatively on herbs and spices to give it vibrant flavor.

Speakme of spices, this recipe makes use of a truthful quantity of them. 50% of the ingredients are both entire or floor spices (yes, I calculated). but the spices are what give this dish so much taste, now not to mention differentiate this meatball curry from the rest of the world’s meatball dishes.

A Few Tips on Making This Kofta Curry

  • I suggest you use full-fat ground beef instead of lean. The extra fat helps them bind.
  • If you rinse your ground beef, or if you feel that your beef is watery, you’ll need to squeeze the excess water out and allow to strain in a colander before using.
  • After forming the meatballs, you may cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight or even freeze them if you’d like to finish making the curry later.
  • I’ve used beef, but you can easily substitute with ground chicken or lamb. If you feel it’s not holding up as well, try adding more chickpea flour or even breadcrumbs.
  • Often, kofta curry is topped with boiled eggs, giving it a layer of hearty flavor. I like to boil them separately so that the curry isn’t infused with the scent of the eggs. Potatoes are another wonderful addition.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of water before reheating on the stove or microwave as the curry thickens after cooling.

Faqs for Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry

How do you save you difficult koftas (meatballs):
Exactly as written, the recipe promises gentle, moist koftas. but, over blending, over cooking, or overhandling can bring about difficult koftas

The way to double the recipe:
To double the recipe, simply double the ingredients for the kofta and the curry. if you’re concerned the entire spices might be overpowering, start out with 1.five instances the original quantity, then add extra to flavor.

How to add potatoes to beef Kofta Curry:
Add the cubed potatoes toward the final 20-25 minutes (relying on how big they may be reduce) in conjunction with a bit of more water. cover and allow to simmer at the side of the koftas. in case you’re seeking out greater potato recipes, check out my series of 10 Pakistani and Indian Aloo (Potato) Recipes.

What to Serve With This Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry

Since this is a ‘wet’ curry, you can pair it with either rice or roti, naan, or other bread. If desired, you can top with boiled eggs.

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

Beef Kofta Curry, or without a doubt kofte, is a classic Pakistani curry fabricated from soft meatballs simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. This recipe has all the traditional taste of old-fashioned kofte but it’s made in an simpler, greater approachable way.
prep time
30 mins
cooking time
50 mins
total time
1 hour 20 mins



  • For the meatballs

  • 1 small (120 g after peeling) onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 green chili pepper (such as Serrano or Thai chili), stem removed and roughly chopped

  • ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves

  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, optional

  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic

  • 1 tsp crushed ginger

  • 1 lb ground beef, (preferably full fat)

  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour, also called gram flour or besan

  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder

  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • For the curry

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 medium (3 small) tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 green chili pepper (such as Serrano or Thai), stem removed and roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 inch cinnamon stick

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1-2 green cardamom pods

  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 inch piece ginger, crushed

  • 3 tbsp plain whole milk yogurt

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • ½-1 tsp red chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp paprika powder (or Kashmiri chili powder), (optional – for color)

  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  • 2 cups water

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • 1-2 tbsp cilantro leaves




Combine the onion, inexperienced chili pepper, cilantro leaves, and mint leaves (if the usage of) in a meals processor. Use the heart beat feature to chop in order that the onions are finely chopped but now not blended. You don’t need the onions to break down too much and release water. Then add the rest of the ingredients indexed below meatballs (which includes the beef) and technique to combine for approximately 30 seconds or just till combined.
The usage of a bit of oil to oil your palms, form into meatballs approximately 1 ½ inch in diameter. It must make round 25 meatballs. Set aside.


Rinse your food processor. Then use the pulse function again to chop the onion. Remove and set aside. Then chop the tomatoes and green chili pepper. Set aside.
Heat a massive, heavy bottomed pan over high heat. add the oil and whole spices, and permit them to sizzle for a few seconds. Then add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring frequently, for 7-8 mins, or till golden. lower the warmth to medium-excessive. add the garlic and ginger & sauté any other 2 minutes, until the onions have deepened even more in color. add the tomatoes and inexperienced chili pepper combination, accompanied through the yogurt, spices and salt. Sauté for four-5 mins or until the oil begins to separate from the combination.
Add 2 cups water and lift the heat to bring to a boil. while the water involves a boil, decrease the heat to the bottom placing. once it has stopped boiling, arrange the kofte in a unmarried layer.
Raise the heat to medium, cover and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. discover and lightly stir the kofte. decrease the heat to low-medium. cover and permit it to simmer for some other 35 mins, stirring once in among, until cooked via.
Sauté to evaporate water to make the kofte to desired consistency. taste and add salt, if wanted. Sprinkle in garam masala and cilantro. Serve hot, with tough-boiled eggs, if favored.
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