Spicy Koftas! (Meatballs with Indian spices)

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - student project

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 1 - student project

Hello Everyone!

My inspiration for this dish comes from my mom. My favorite curry growing up was meatball curry that we called, "Maamra nu Shaak" in our language, Gujarati. When I got married, I thought what better way to impress my Gujarati in-laws but by making this childhood favorite of mine! When I told my new family what I was making, they looked at me with blank stares ... Turns out, "Maamra" was a term my mother used which was probably derived from her time in South Africa, and not a Gujarati word. This is how my mother in law learned that she has the best chance of understanding me if I speak in English, and not with my "made up" Gujarati :)

And so the Spicy Kofta was born, the correct name for meatball :)

I had the ambitious idea of making both the koftas and the curry sauce, however, during this attempt, the sauce did not live up to my memory of the bomb-diggity sauce my mom made. (Back to the drawing board with that one)

So, I'm submitting the recipe for the Koftas alone... here goes!

Spicy Koftas:

1 lb. Ground Meat (I used turkey, you can use what you prefer)

Dry Spice mix:

1 tbsp. Corriander Powder

1 tbsp. Deggi Mirch (paprika)

1 tsp. Cumin Powder

1 tsp. Gram Flour

pinch Cardamom seeds, Ground ( less than 1/4 tsp, I used 1/4 tsp and it was a tad too much)

1/2 tsp. Black Salt

1/2 tsp. Salt

Pinch Mace

pinch Nutmeg

Pinch  Black pepper

1 tsp. Dry Kasoori Methi, Crushed (Fenugreek Leaves)

The Veg. Mix:

1 Jalapeno, chopped fine

1 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Grind the following 3:

1/2  large Onion 

2 Garlic Cloves

1 inch Ginger

1/4 cup Plain Bread Crumbs

1 Egg

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Below: Most of the ingredients, ready to go into the bowl

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 2 - student project

1) Mix the dry spices together

(Once I mixed my dry spices, I decided to add the Black Salt for an extra salty/ sulfuric kick that I felt was lacking from my original spice blend.)

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 3 - student project

2. Add both the Spice Mix and the Veg mix (onion mix, cilantro, and jalapeno) to the meat. Add the bread crumb, egg, olive oil as well. Mix thoroughly with hands. The mixture will be slightly wet and sticky.

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 4 - student project

3. Form into balls. If the meat is too sticky, wet your hands with cold water before rolling the balls. I used a 1 tbsp. measure to portion my balls.  ( At this point I made a test patty and was happy with the results, I love when things work out!)

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 5 - student project

Here I am, adding balls to simmer and cook with my ill fated sauce :(

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 6 - student project


Thank God, I had some sense to save some of the meat to bake in the oven!

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 7 - student project


4. Place balls in a baking dish and into a preheated oven at 400 until done ( sorry, wasn't watching the clock!)

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 8 - student project

Presto! They are done, and they smell so good!

Serve alone as kebab appetizers, or in a pita dressed with some yogurt, onions, tomatoes, and a flourish of cilantro!


Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 9 - student project

Here is what the curry looked like, not so bad to look at... but taste was another story :(

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 10 - student project

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 11 - student project

~ Something I learned during this process was that the balls that were simmered in the sauce had a more firm texture. It was not unpleasant, but the balls that were baked were noticably more springy and airy in texture.


Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 12 - student project

(* A side note for Turkey haters: I love beef and all things red meat as much as the next person. But I love this bird! I love using ground turkey in Indian meat recipes because I feel the things people don't like about turkey ( the smell, taste, dryness..) are either masked or disappear when using so many spices. My husband can't tell if I’ve used beef or turkey at times, and other timid turkey eaters have commented that they enjoy turkey when they try it in Indian food. Maybe we spice the poor thing to death,  I don't know. But I do know it's good! Try it!)

Thanks for viewing my project! I learned so much and am excited to apply some of the basic meatball making techniques I learned here to other flavor profiles. Maybe I'll improve my "Maamras" for the next time the in-laws are over!

Spicy Koftas!  (Meatballs with Indian spices) - image 13 - student project 

Please try this recipe, and let me know how I can improve it, and what you thought!