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Chicken Kofta

There are some dishes that my husband asks (errrm, begs) me to cook over and over again. Once of those is kofta in tomato sauce. Kofta is an Indian meatball which is traditionally made out of ground lamb. The first version of kofta that I ever made was the Delicious Cocktail Kofta from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking. Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe a bit to better meet our taste preferences…and this time, I made the kofta using ground chicken instead of ground lamb. They are great served with some basmati rice.


Chicken Kofta in Tomato Sauce(adapted from Delicious Cocktail Kofta recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking)


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt


  • 2 heaping teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 heaping teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt


Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Form the mixture into meatballs about 2 Tablespoons in size each. Put meatballs aside.

In small bowl, mix the garlic paste, ginger paste and 2 tablespoons water.  Add the salt, cumin, ground corriander, paprika, and red pepper. Stir to mix.

Heat the oil in a heavy 10 inch wide pot or skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Stir them for 5 seconds.

Now put in the onion, and fry, stirring constantly, until reddish-brown in color. Turn to the heat down to medium and put in the paste from the bowl and the chopped tomato. Stir and fry this until it turns a brownish color and the tomato starts dissolving into the mix.

When it begins to catch, add 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Stir and fry some more until the yogurt is incorporated into the sauce. Now add another tablespoon of yogurt. Incorporate that into the sauce as well. Keep doing this until you’ve put in all the yogurt.

Now put in 1 1/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Put in all the meatballs in a single layer. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and turn heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Stir very gently every 5 minutes or so, making sure not to break the meatballs. Towards the end of the cooking period, you should scrape the bottom of the pot just to make sure sauce and meatballs aren’t catching. If needed, ad a tablespoon or so of water. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium low. Stir gently and cook until the meatballs have a browned look. The sauce should be thickened.

Comments on: "Chicken Kofta" (2)

  1. The kofta looks fabulous! I have most of the ingredients, will try the recipe sometime 🙂

  2. […] kebobs are ground/minced meat mixed with spices and cooked up. A few months ago I posted about some chicken kofta in tomato sauce.  My spousal unit would be in perma-nirvana-state if I made kofta kebabs multiple times a […]

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