Lamb Kofta Curry

I’ve spoken before about my love for hot, spicy food and this lamb kofta curry is one of my favourite midweek curries.

The kofta mixture is very versatile – make small meatballs, shallow fry them in oil and serve with chutney or a yoghurt dip as an appetiser, mould them on to skewers and char-grill and serve as a starter or cook them in this curry sauce for a more substantial meal.

I always make this quantity and then freeze any surplus meatballs and sauce separately, ready for a quick homemade meal when I don’t feel like going to too much trouble.

When served with the curry sauce, they are quite spicy but it is easy enough to tone down the chilli if you prefer.


Lamb Kofta Curry

Lamb Kofta Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Lamb Kofta Curry


    For the kofta
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, seeds removed
  • 15 g coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 2 tblsp plain yoghurt
  • 2½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 3 tblsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 cm piece of ginger
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 4 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 500 ml lamb stock
  • 1 tblsp tomato puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 200 ml water


    To make the kofta
  1. Blend the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and the coriander leaves together in a food processor until they form a paste.
  2. Put the minced lamb in a bowl, add the paste, yoghurt, remaining spices, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  3. Cover and put in the freezer to rest while you make the sauce. (You just want it super chilled - not frozen).
  4. To make the sauce
  5. Heat the ghee in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions, garlic and ginger until softened and lightly browned.
  6. Add the chilli powder, garam masala, and asafoetida and stir well.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes to release some of the juice.
  8. Add the stock, tomato puree, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and season with black pepper.
  9. Bring to a simmer, partially cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove the sauce from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick and curry leaves.
  11. Blend the sauce until as smooth as possible.
  12. Return to the heat, add the 200 ml water and bring back to a simmer.
  13. To finish
  14. Remove the meat mixture from the freezer.
  15. Using wet hands shape the mixture into meatballs about the size of a walnut. You should get between 25 and 30.
  16. Drop all the meatballs gently into the sauce mixture and return to a simmer.
  17. Cook, uncovered for a further 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  18. Serve the meatballs with rice and top with yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves.

March 2014 – Updated to add to Bangers and Mash’s The Spice Trail challenge which is cooking with ginger this month.


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14 thoughts on “Lamb Kofta Curry

  1. Monet

    Could this look or sound any better? I’m hungry now! Thank you for sharing such a delectable main meal. I can’t wait to try!

  2. Pingback: The Spice Trail: cooking with ginger | Bangers & Mash

  3. Pingback: The Spice Trail: your favourite ginger recipes | Bangers & Mash

  4. Mel

    Funny how many cuisines have the kofta, or a variant upon it isn’t it? Your photos look so tempting. It also has a lot of ginger in it. I love ginger, so not a problem for me. A lovely recipe

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