Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Kofta Curry and then...


The past(the one before the recent one) weekend was a long one, not long as in l---o---o--o-ng but merely long. A friend decided to come and stay with us for 2 of the three days. No one asked, they simply notified and rang the bell Saturday night with two kids, a wife, two pillows and several other paraphernalia. Well we have known them for years and such privileges are acquired if you know one for long.

I was a bit weary of the situation. Given my recent stranger anxiety along with baby A's I wasn't sure how things would pan out. That they had a 3 month old who according to the parents was colicky and could wreak havoc by crying(again according to parents) didn't soothe my tense nerves.

Things turned out very well though and everyone had a blast. Sunday was well spent at the beach. It was a bit cold but nothing to keep the kids away. Big Sis S, her friend M, her two pseudo cousin brothers A&A and a pseudo elder sis G had loads of fun at the beach and then later on the rides at the boardwalk.

Baby A doesn't like strangers and that means any adult outside the family and her nanny. She also doesn't like to be bound in any static object like highchair, bouncer, static strollers etc. And she doesn't keep her dislike to herself, she protests loudly and monotonously. So she had to be carried while the older kids played on the beach or on the rides. She is a petite child, very much so and carrying her is easy, so many friends aka strangers volunteered but she pouted and her eyes wailed up at gestures of such love and intimacy. She clung to her not so petite Mom and generally had a mighty good time watching everything from a safe perch.

Back home she was intrigued by the 3 month old. At every opportunity she would scoot up to his bouncer, stand up and try to poke his head, face whatever. She also tried to take away the smaller one's pacifier several times. The 3 month old didn't really cry all that much or maybe I have just got used to such stuff.

Big Sis S had a great time overall with her friend M(the visiting couple's elder daughter) who is same age and that brings me to a niggling doubt which I will throw at you as a question. What do you do when you have house guests and your parenting principle does not match theirs ? The husband is pretty non-conformant and dishes out same sermons/scoldings/rules to all kids. Fortunately since most of these people are close friends no one minds. I am a bit hesitant though to do the same. What about you ?


Since Saturday night we all were invited to a friend's party and Sunday lunch was outside, I had decided to serve a homecooked meal on Sunday night. I knew I would be dead tired and maybe even crabby by the time we came back home Sunday evening. So I had decided to do a pualo and a gravy, a part of which could be cooked the day before. D would be grilling hot dogs and corn to supplement the meal.

What I made was a Chicken Kofta Curry (Chicken meatballs in a gravy) and then a Kofta Pulao (a meatball pulao) with some Raita to jazz it up. Both the curry and the pulao are a major hit with family as well as friends. And so even though we were almost full with the continuous snacking and grilling we sat down for a late dinner at 11 in night to devour these delicacies.

This particular dish serves 3 purpose at 3 stages of making.

  1. When you make the Chicken masala balls, you can fry them and serve as appetizers.
  2. You then make a gravy (the Kofta Curry) with the same balls, it turns out as a deliciously finger-licking side dish.Don't skip the frying the onion and then blending routine, it adds to the taste as does the fragrant Kasoori Methi
  3. Finally you use some of that gravy and the kofta to make a Kofta Pulao which serves as your entree. Whip up a raita and you have a gorgeous spread

The Kofta Pulao recipe comes in the next post in two days time


Chicken Kofta Curry (Meatballs in a delicious gravy)

Make Chicken Masala Balls(better known as Koftas)

The following quantity makes about 40-50 meatballs. All of them will NOT be used in the gravy.

To make Chicken masala balls I follow this recipe mostly. Roughly I will repeat here.

Dry roast 5-6 dry red chillis (adjust according to your choice) + 4 tbsp Corriander seeds + 1&1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds + 1" stick of cinnamon + 5 cardamom + 5 clove + 10-20 cashewnuts

Cool and grind to a fine powder

Wet grind to a fine paste 1 medium onion + 5-6 cloves of garlic + 3" piece of ginger + some chopped corriander leaves + 8 indian green chili(go with few if your hot tolerance is low).
Note: Sometimes if in a hurry, I will make a wet paste with just 2 tsp Garlic Paste + 2 tsp ginger paste + 2 tsp corriander paste

Marinade 2-3 lb(rough estimate) of minced chicken(chicken keema) with all this
Dry masala,
Wet Masala,
2 tbsp of yogurt
and salt for 30 mins to 2-3 hrs

Grease your palm with little oil and then make small amla or tomatiilo sized balls

Fry some of these balls and serve as an appetizer. The rest will be used in the gravy. To use in gravy you NEED NOT fry the balls.

Make Kofta Curry

I used about 24-28 chicken masala balls to make this curry

Heat Oil in a deep bottomed frying pan/Kadhai

Fry 3 medium onion chopped + 6-8 cloves of garlic + 2" ginger peeled and coarsely chopped

When the onion is lightly browned add 2 medium red tomato coarsely chopped and fry till the tomato is all mushed up and there is no raw smell. Note: I add a teeny tiny spoon of sugar to help in browning onion
Alternate Idea : Boil the raw onions. Cool and grind to paste. Make a separate paste of ginger + garlic+green chili. Make a puree of the tomatoes. You have to spend a little more time to fry the onion paste in this case.

Cool the above and blend to a paste. Keep aside

Heat some more oil in the same frying pan. This time go with less oil

Add the prepared onion+ ginger+garlic+tomato paste and fry till oil separates from the masala

In a small bowl make a paste of 3 tbsp Yogurt + 2 tsp of Cumin Powder + 1 heaped tsp of Biryani masala + 1-2 tsp of Red Chili Powder + little(1/4tsp) turmeric powder. Note: if you don't have your home made Biryani masala use Garam Masala

Reduce heat and add this masala paste to the Kadhai/Frying pan

Add 2 tsp of Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)

At low heat saute for couple of minutes till you see the masala is cooked and the oil seeping out from the sides

Add 1 cup Milk + 1 cup water. Note: I added 2% milk, you can add whole milk but this tastes as good

Add salt and mix everything well

Increase the heat to medium and let the gravy come to a boil


Chicken balls being steamed in the gravy

If you have NOT fried the chicken balls, add them(the raw spiced meat balls) to the gravy now.
If you did not pay attention and have fried the chicken balls you can add them to the gravy at the second last step.

Cover and cook till the balls are done. The balls will cook pretty quickly in the steam and will be done in 5-7 minutes.

Once the balls are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and keep aside. You don't want to over cook them

Reduce the gravy till it is thicker to a consistency you would like

Check for seasonings, add the chicken balls to the gravy, mix everything well and garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves.

The delicious Kofta Curry is ready to be served with Naan, Roti or a Pulao...

Note: If you are feeling extremely lazy you can get Chicken Balls from Costco or wherever and use that to make this curry


  1. Kofta curry looks mouth watering..waiting for kofta pulav..

  2. I suffer from that "strangers" thingie too, although after sometime if the guests are helpful, I think it will be okay! Glad you had a good time! :)

    I had a blast in India too, now I have to start walking to lose some wt.I really am "big" now, not just in age!!:P

    I am so sick now, even my kids are avoiding me!I think all the exhaustion caught up with me as soon as I came back. Better be ready for Trisha's graduation on Saturday, let me go and rest.

    See you in the Fall, last few months of enjoying Trisha's company for me! Take care :)

  3. hey sandeepa,
    Yet another interesting read. I love guests :) as long as they know where to draw a fine line. But then there is a difference btn friends as guests and relatives as guests na?!neways..good that ur weekend was busy and u had a fun time.

    Elaborate and great looking dishes, wish I could've hopped in right at dinner time ;)

  4. Delicious Kofta curry Sandeepa. You are indeed brave to be making this when guests and babies are around.

    I am wary of scolding or correcting other's kids but sometimes it is better than fuming over how some parents seem to raise their kids!

  5. Oh thats true know one for awhile or just relatives they take the privelege of knocking at the wee hours to take refugee ;) the chicken koftas look so soft and yummy!!! slurrp slurrp I am drooling here ohhhh!!! Hey why dont you send this to Viki's potluck event - details here

  6. You know, it's funny... When I was growing up, we were surrounded by a gang of family friends. So, I often wound up looking after the little kids... None of us felt any sort of hesitation to discipline the younger ones even though their parents were right upstairs. Now, I guess it depends on the situation. If you're close friends, I don't see anything wrong with it, I guess.

    Kofta curry looks awesome!! Nice idea to use chicken in making this, too. :)

  7. I have to admit that i run away from guests these days.. & i start having anxiety every single time anyone is coming to stay.. just the general tension.. but most of the times inspite of crazy schedules we do enjoy too. I cannot tell anything to other kids:-(.. esp. if their parents are around.

    The koftas looks ami korle at gravy obdhi pounchabe na:-) top top kore kheye nebo.

  8. Oh, there have been times when I wish I could tell others' kids to cut it out but of course I just grin and bear it or make a philosophical "boys will be boys" kinda statement! Glad u had a good long weekend. Amazing that u managed to make koftas from scratch. Curry and pulao both look super!

  9. Koftas with guests around? That's hard work - I usually fail with koftas.

  10. Hi Sandeepa,

    Your Kofta looks really fingerlicking..I have a doubt regarding the timing of adding the koftas in the gravy. earlier when I tried to add them at the time of boiling, it kind of dissolve in the what I do now is just pour the gravy over the koftas.Though I feel it doesn't taste the same. can you help?

    P.S-Though I am a regular reader of your blog this is the first time I am writing to you..Great Blog..


  11. Hi Sandeepa,

    Your Kofta looks really fingerlicking..I have a doubt regarding the timing of adding the koftas in the gravy. earlier when I tried to add them at the time of boiling, it kind of dissolve in the what I do now is just pour the gravy over the koftas.Though I feel it doesn't taste the same. can you help?

    P.S-Though I am a regular reader of your blog this is the first time I am writing to you..Great Blog..


  12. umm looks yummy,..i will like to hve this with some plain rice,..:-)

  13. :-)

    I have no kids yet, but I think I have my parenting principles alright... :-)

    To me, it is simple... my house, my rules... so when parents walk in and let their children use the walls of my rented apartment as their canvas, they have to put up with my sermon to the child... sometimes to the parent too... like what were they thinking.

    I am also very irritated when people (my own MIL) say that one must never say anything to a child... my MIL's philosophy is: until the child turns 6, you mustn't say "no" or scold etc.

    My funda is... if I don't do it until the child is 6, I might as well never bother.

    Tough life... lovely recipe :)

  14. Sandeepa, I too have problems with the kids of the uests. Younger one is very accomodative but elder one will shower his love too much on the new kids and eventually they'll start wailing. But amma gets a lot irritated with over mischeivious kids but can tolerate her grand children how much every they bother her. Kofta curry really makes me drool. Its long since we made koftas at home. Need to take it up soon!

  15. I am so going to make these kofta .
    I don't think i will do like your friends did just ring up and show up on my friends door step even if they are very good friends.
    I guess i am like that.
    I have never had guest staying over for some years. And the ppl who stayed over i knew weeks ahead they were comming.

  16. my mom used to make kofta curry. this would be useful. was searching for ideas on what to do with kheema

  17. I have visited your blog several times in the last few weeks. I love the simplicity with which you post the recipes. I was inspired with this and have posted a few of my recipes on my blog. I request you to please vist and oblige :)

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  19. Thanks Sandeepa. I think using chana dal is a good idea. Shall try it.

  20. Great recipe . I like how you drop the koftas in the gravy instead of frying them . I cook them in the microwave but will try this next time .\
    Bhale achho toh tomra sabai ?

  21. i love your website! But I am unsure what a Bong is.

    And it is quite touchy when someone has different parenting ideas as you do. I am glad that y'all had a great time!

  22. Sticky situation this parenting thing with guests around.I would just give up my usual routine and stick it out till they leave and hope for the best meanwhile.

  23. Coleen~

    A Bong is an Indianized English word for a Bengali, people from the region of West Bengal in India. It is a colloquial word and definitely not a formal one

  24. I have had long term guests who have just walked up and rang the bell as late as 8 in the evening ... and say 'surprise'! Ar ele 1 week er agey jaaye na ... chinta koro. Bhoy bhoy thaki ektu. :-)
    Kofta curry ta darun hoyeche ... amar fried bhalo lage. :-)

  25. How much ground chicken do you use for the amount of spices you listed? By the way, your blog rocks!

  26. Sandeepa,
    chickenn kofta curry looks so delicious and i am glad you had a great time with friends..

    hugs and smiles

  27. Oh wow chicken kofta...looks spicy and yum in that gravy...hmm transfering it into pulav is really anyum idea.

  28. Nina

    The spices work for approx. 2-3 lb of ground chicken. For 3 lb, it might be a tad on the less spicier side but is perfect when balls are in curry

  29. I was just going to ask about the amount of chicken and i saw your commented to some one alse the answer.

  30. HC

    I have it on the recipe too, check where I write about the marinade :) of the masala balls

  31. Umm yummy platter...kofta looks so gud ...very interesting read :)

  32. HC and Nina

    I must add here that if you are making the masala balls as only appetizers and not intend to put them in the gravy then check my Chicken Masala Balls
    Then this spice is good for 1-2 lbs at the most to make it on the spicier side

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  34. Actually my Didu is the cook in the family. I don't think cooking's really my Mom's thing. My dad was more of a cook and taught her cooking

  35. I made this kofta and it was so so super yummy delicous.
    I am so glad i tried them as it is going to be something i willb e making more often.
    Thankyou for the recipe.

  36. My first day back on your blog are ki dekchi? We have just blogged about koftas!! Eta key boley great minds... I hven't had the pleasure of entertaining other babies as house guests yet but I randomly discipline any children that misbehave around me... he he!!

  37. Sandeepa, the food asd always looks mouth watering - this time I will resist as I leave for India next week :-) Wait to pig out there!

    As for the rules, my house my rules. If I feel strongly about my child not watching a TV program, anyone who comes to my house needs to abide by the rule. I may take some estra trouble to keep the kids distracted or give them something fun to do to make up. But I am tired of bending over and giving up what I beleive in. I have it done it many times and have seethed with anger later. So nowadays I stick my ground. Of course what I hate even more are moms who allow 2-3 year olds to put lipstick and nail polish and tell my child in front of me that they can too! " Come to my house beti, I'll put nail polish for you.. pretty pretty!!" Grrrr.. ok I can go one and my comment can become longer than your original post.
    Perhaps a future topic on Desimomzclub.

  38. kal ratey hothay dinner seemed to be boring yet another round of 'have to have food' kind..! So thought of shuffling through your recipes.. and this one looked like I have everything that is needed. I tried and uuummm it was delicious..! Thanks for saving my marriage too.. ;))))

  39. Sandeepa,

    Just found out about your blog from a friend yesteardy ! and here I am... tried your spicy kofta curry tonight for dinner... fantastic recipe .. elaborate but absolutely worth it.. delicious :)

    Thank you :)


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