Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

The very first thing I remember when thinking of my nani’s (grandmother) house in Hyderabad is the red curry simmering on the stove with spices churned on a rectangular shaped Imam Dasta, a traditional huge grinding stone; unlike the tiny mortar pestle I own. The scent of coconut marrying with onions and tomatoes while the meatballs cooked poached soft in the curry was the finest of all that I can recollect. Dipping numerous bites of chapatis and cuddling to her side for an afternoon nap would handle any heart break, I promise.Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

Hyderabadi cuisine is rich and a blend of royal flavors passed down from the chefs of Nizams; and this is the food that has been an extensive part of my growing up. A huge part of the legacy I inherent are the traditional native recipes that are being passed from one generation to another; the ones I won’t dare to mess around playing with a different spice or two and as great as a loyal friend. However, if I don’t have an ingredient available, I try to tweak a bit carefully still maintaining the taste I have known over the years. I am now making efforts to accumulate them on this blog so that it reaches out to more people who share similar passion as me because I love curries – they are the best comfort food ever, either dipped with chapatis, breads or eaten with rice are always a combination bursting with excitement, with a nap to follow. Since I don’t have many main meals covered here, I’ll try my best to fill that up!

Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

And if you are anything like me, you’ll be consumed with this recipe as well. It is basic but rich, still many fret cooking raw lean meatballs since it has a few chances of failing and falling apart if not done right. The secret is to let it simmer on a low flame with lids closed until the oil starts to leave from the sides and the fragrance waft through the house.  Using black cardamom really imparted the acute smoky flavor which came through with each bite. We only consume lamb meat though the most close version of cooking this dish is with beef (I wouldn’t prefer poultry at all for this dish), which would approximately take the same cooking time. Although my granny used dried coconut and poppy seeds when she cooked, I alternated it with coconut milk without changing the essence of this beautifully scented curry carrying the most exotic oomph of all the royal dishes.

Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

Kofta Curry in Coconut Milk

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients:

For meatballs:

  • Minced lamb meat – 500 gms
  • Onions – 1, finely sliced
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
  • Mint leaves – 1 tbsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Roasted gram flour – 2 tbsp
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Green garlic – 1/4 cup chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

For gravy:

  • Tomatoes – 2, finely chopped
  • Onions – 1, sliced
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black Cardamom – 2, whole pods
  • Coriander leaves – for garnishing
  • Fresh coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
  • Water, as required
  • Salt to taste

Method :

  • In a food processor, beat together all the ingredients listed under meatballs. Once they come together, stop and make lime sized balls by dashing a drop of water on your hands. Cover with cling film and keep aside for 30 minutes. If you are keeping it for a longer time, place them in the refrigerator and remove 15 minutes prior to their use.
  • For the gravy, heat ghee in medium sized cooking pot and splutter cumin seeds. Saute onion till translucent. Mix in chilli powder, tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy. Grind to a fine paste.
  • In the same cooking pot, add ghee, curry leaves and black cardamom. Once they become fragrant, add the ground onion-tomato paste and saute till oil starts to leave from the sides. Add coconut milk and meatballs carefully so that the oil doesn’t bubble up on your hands. Do not overcrowd or place meatballs on top of each other so that they cook evenly. Add 1/2 cup water and close the lid. Let it cook on a simmer for about 40-45 minutes, turning the meatballs twice in between. Add some water if the gravy starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice or bread.

Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

Rich and comforting kofta curry in coconut milk (lamb meatballs) for dipping numerous bites of bread with a nap to follow.

11 thoughts on “Kofta Curry in Coconut Milk”

  1. Oh my god..I love this…As you said I love most hyderabad dishes…The taste handed down for generations from the chefs of Nizams…… Those meat balls look so perfectly done and ofcourse tasty….m

  2. This meatballs look amazing – I love the coconut milk that you have used in the sauce, and lamb meatballs are always the best! 🙂

  3. Hi Tasneem,
    I love your meatball recipe and I look forward to trying it out. Can you please tell me what ingredient you use to replace poppy seeds as they are not available here, or do you leave them out altogether.
    Also as we don’t eat lamb meat, can we replace it with mutton
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Louise for dropping by. I use sesame seeds in the same proportion as poppy seeds (just dry roast them a little until frangrant before adding in the processor and yes you can use minced mutton meat as well. Let me know how it turns out! My family loves this recipe!

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