Close up view of kofta curry served in a cast iron dish.

Kofta Curry (Meatball curry)

Kofta curry is a delicious dish of succulent grilled or broiled beef meatballs in a rich, creamy and spicy sauce. It is full of fragrant Indian spices and makes a great weeknight dinner. This low carb meatball curry is also freezer friendly. Great tips for lightening it up also included.
Course Stews
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Kebab Kofta, Kofta Curry, Meatball Curry
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 222kcal
Author Roxana Begum



  • 1 pound ground beef (90% lean meat, 10% fat)
  • 1 onion medium, grated
  • 1 egg large
  • 4 tablespoons bread crumbs or chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint fresh, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry mint)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala or tikka masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust per taste)
  • 1 chili pepper chopped (jalapeno or cayenne or serrano)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • cups crushed tomatoes *
  • 1 cup yogurt whole, whipped
  • 2 tablespoon fenugreek leaves chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried leaves)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • Cilantro chopped for garnish


  • Place all the ingredients for kofta (meatballs) in a mixing bowl. Mix and knead it well for 3-4 minutes. Let it rest as you prepare the curry.
  • Heat the olive oil in a cooking pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tikka masala, chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and mix well.
  • Then add the chili peppers, tomato paste and stir 2 minutes. Next add the crushed tomatoes and stir it in.
  • Add the whipped yogurt and stir thoroughly. Add the fenugreek leaves, which give a distinctive taste to this dish. 
  • Then add 1 cup of water and stir (adjust the water as needed). Let it simmer about 20 minutes, until some oil starts surfacing on the top.
  • Meanwhile, shape 16 smooth and cylindrical (or round) koftas and set aside. Place the koftas on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil it on high for about 3 to 5 minutes on both sides.
  • The broiling time may differ with each oven, so make sure to check initial progress. Alternatively the koftas may also be grilled or barbecued. The koftas do not have to be completely cooked in this process as they will cook further in the sauce.
  • If necessary, you may use a blender and process the sauce. Add the koftas to the sauce. Adjust seasoning and consistency as needed. 
  • Increase the heat to medium high and once the curry starts bubbling, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves on the top. You may drizzle cream or whipped yogurt on top.
  • Serve this beef meatball curry with rice or flat bread. Enjoy!



  1. If you prefer to use fresh tomatoes for the gravy, chop and puree 1 pound of fresh tomatoes with the skin and seeds, along with 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  2. If using fresh tomatoes, you may skip addition of water in the recipe, and add the yogurt only after the tomatoes are very well cooked. Otherwise the yogurt will curdle and the gravy will not be smooth. I prefer to use grass fed whole milk yogurt.
  3. You could also try using tomato paste (1/2 cup double concentrated good quality tomato paste + 2 cups water).
  4. Use grated onion or grated zucchini for soft, juicy and moist meatballs.
  5. Meatballs should be broiled or grilled quickly at high temperature to only brown the meat well on the exterior. If it takes too long, then the meatballs can become dry.
  6. For a richer flavor or special occasions, drizzle some ghee or cream on the top, at the end of the cooking process.
  7. Replace the breadcrumbs with chickpea flour to make gluten free kofta curry.
  8. If you wanted to make these koftas on stove top, then try using a cast iron skillet and drain the fat.


Serving: 2koftas with 1/2 cup curry | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 7.7mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3.1mg