Authentic Koftay (meatball curry)

Sarah- There are different variations for cooking koftay. Our koftay recipe is the most authentic. This koftay recipe is  authentic mughlai recipe. The recipe contain meatballs, that are mixed with various spices to enhance the taste; and the gravy is cooked with a blend of spices to give it the most authentic taste. My mom has been making this recipe were since I was born and she learned it from my paternal grandmother. 

This infamous dehli walon Kay Koftay ( Dehli People’s meatball curry) recipe include secret ingredients.  The rice is the ingredient that softens or make the meatball tender. Channa (bengal gram) lentils gives it its unique flavor and help with binding them also. You can call it our family’s secret ingredients. Try these two special ingredients you won’t need anything else for binding and softening the meatballs. Another key ingredient is poppyseeds in Koftay; poppyseeds is the key ingredient in this curry that differentiates it from other curries. Poppyseeds gives this curry its authentic vibrant flavor that makes it the infamous dehli walon kay koftay. 

Koftay is a unique curry. You can’t just use store bought one. You have to make them manually. One time I was too lazy to take out the food processor so I used my Kitchen Aid blender to blend my meatballs. Well, that went wrong I ruined my blender so please always use a food processor while making this recipe no exceptions. 

In this recipe, always use full fat or 80/20 ground beef. I personally have use both but I prefer the 80/20 ground beef. I haven’t tried but you can easily used ground chicken or lamb. After making the meatballs, you can freeze them and they last for 2-3 months, and you can make them anytime you want. Another useful tip is when you shape the meatballs don’t stir just pick up and hold the edges of the pot and move it right and left; even when it’s fully cook stir gently so the meatballs don’t break.

I admit this recipe is long but it’s a process. I can’t shorten the time for you but i can grantee a good traditional taste. This recipe is eaten through out the year. This recipe is toddler approved too. Our little one really loves this recipe. hope you give this recipe a try. As always, if you try any of our recipes be sure to tag us on instagram @twoclovesinapot. Find us on Pinterest too @twoclovesinapot. we value honest feedback. 

Koftay (Meatball Curry)

Koftay (beef meatballs) curry is a traditional North Indian/Pakistani curry. Ground beef meatballs mixed in exotic seasonings gives it its authentic taste. With the help of poppyseeds and other ingredients in its curry sure to bring a vibrant flavor to your mouth. 
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Resting time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: Koftay, meatballs



  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 7 black peppercorns
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
  • 2 green pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bengal gram lentil Channa Dal
  • 1 tbsp basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 medium onion roughly chopped
  • salt as needed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grind black pepper
  • 1 inch ginger julienne


  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 inch ginger julienne
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • 6 cups water
  • cilantro to garnish
  • ginger to garnish



  • Soak combine rice and the lentil and let them soak in water for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes combine red chilli powder, whole black pepper, cloves, green cardamom, whole black cardamom, onion, cilantro, green pepper, lentil, rice, and ginger. Mix it well then Pulse them for about 2 minutes in the food processor.
  • Now add ground beef and pulse it in the food processor for 1 minute. Take it out and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium size pot on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until medium brown. Take it out and set aside. Let it dry for 30 minutes then mix onion and yogurt then put in the food processor and pulse it for one minute, set aside.


  • Now you’re ready to make the gravy! In the same pot, add ginger garlic paste and stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt, poppy seeds, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and black peppercorns. Now mix well 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add water and let it cook on medium heat (this process can take up to 1 hour) until you have 2 cups remaining in the pot.
  • Now shape the ground beef mixture to meatballs and place it in your 2 cups of gravy in the pot.
  • Pour in the yogurt and onion mixture.
  • Now stir not a normal stir but use the following technique; Move the pot back and forth use the ovenmitts.
  • Now let it cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and ginger.





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