There are Ikea’s Swedish meatballs and then there are Koftas!


Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

My son has been a difficult eater (haven’t you heard almost every mom say this) , he could not eat textures till he was three and a half years old. So, I could not imagine him eating meat let alone koftas (meatballs) till 2.5 years back. When he miraculously started eating I tried feeding him whatever was cooked at home for everyone and that s where his love for koftas came from. I had never really liked koftas or made them myself till we moved to Canada.

So once we were a little settled I decided to start cooking at home ( basically the guilt of feeding kids McDonald’s nuggets too much set in) and I had no idea how to make them meatballs. So, I called my mother-in-law and combining her recipe and the one that i found here, I ended up making koftas for the first time in my life. They are a little spicy so adjust the spices in case you are making them for your kids. I usually double or triple the ingredients and freeze the meatballs to save cooking time later.


Koftas (meatballs)

  • minced beef 500g
  • onion finely chopped 1
  • salt 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
  • red chili powder 1/2 tsp
  • whole coriander (roasted and crushed) 1 tsp
  • cumin seeds (roasted) 1 tsp
  • fresh coriander (finely chopped) 2 tbsp
  • chickpeas powder (besan) 1 1/2 tbsp (roast for about 30 seconds)
  • ginger and garlic paste 1/2 tbsp
  • garam masala 3/4 tsp
  • green chili (finely chopped) 1 {omit this if you do not like spicy food}

∗Quantity in the pictures might seem different than suggested in the recipe, that is because i double this recipe and freeze extra koftas and masala for future use.



Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan


  • Oil 3 tbsp
  • Onion (finely chopped) 1
  • salt 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • red chili powder 1/2 tsp
  • turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder (for color) 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
  • whole coriander (roasted and crushed ) 3/4 tsp
  • cumin seeds (roasted and crushed) 3/4 tsp
  • yogurt 1/2 cup
  • Garam masala 1/2 tsp
  • water 250 ml
  • fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Mix all the ingredients for koftas together in a big bowl. Leave the mixture covered for about 15 minutes. Now make balls of desired size with this mixture. You should be able to get around 12 meatballs. Excuse the different sizes of my meatballs as the small ones are for my little daughter. Put the koftas in the fridge for about 30 minutes.20181016_113656

Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

Now let us head on to making the curry. I feel making a perfect curry is an art (no onions, tomatoes floating around and getting a nice color) but it’s really simple once you get a hang of it.

2. Saute’ onions in oil till brown. Now add salt, chili powder, turmeric and a splash of water and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep adding a little water when you feel it is getting too dry or is starting to stick to the pan. Now add crushed coriander, kashmiri red chili and cumin seeds and a little water and cook for another 10 mins. Again add water when you feel it will stick to the bottom of the pan. 20181016_122319

Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

3. When the oil comes up, add yogurt to the pot and bhoonofy (cook) for another 10 mins. A good measure is to keep cooking till the oil comes to surface. Now blend this mixture with a hand blender or the regular blender (add water if necessary).


Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

4. Add water to the above mixture and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to minimum (simmer) and add the koftas. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes or till cooked through. Stir in the garam masala powder.



Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

5. Dish them out in a deep bowl/dish and garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve with boiled white rice.


Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan


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