Masala Kababs/Koftas

Rate this recipe 
4.75
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Servings 
Serves 3-4

Amazingly soft, spicy and utterly delicious saucy kababs/koftas (meatballs)...perfect to have with plain rice or naans or even with spaghetti!

Ingredients for Kababs
500gm
lean beef mince
(no fat)
1
onion, chopped
1
small bunch coriander leaves with stems, chopped
2
green chillies
1
slice bread soaked in milk
2 tbsp
beaten egg
(optional)
1/2 tsp.
garlic paste
1/2 tsp.
ginger paste
1 tsp.
black pepper powder
1/2 tsp.
cumin powder
1/4 tsp.
tandoori masala
1/4 tsp.
turmeric powder
1 tsp.
salt
Ingredients for Masala/Gravy
3
onions, chopped finely
1/4 cup
oil
(you can use up the one you fried kababs in)
5
fresh tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup
yoghurt, fresh and whipped
1/2 tsp.
garlic paste
1/2 tsp.
ginger paste
1-2 tbsp.
tomato paste
1 tsp.
fresh methi/fenugreek leaves
1 tsp.
red chilli powder
1
green chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp.
cumin seeds
1
cinnamon stick
1
cardamom pod
1/4 tsp.
turmeric powder
1 tsp.
coriander powder
1 tsp.
cumin powder
1 tsp.
sugar
(to cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
1 tsp.
garam masala
salt to taste
chopped coriander for garnishing
Instructions 

For the Kababs

Put the chopped onion, coriander, ginger, garlic pastes and chillies in a processor and grind until smooth, try not to use any water for this. Next, add the minced meat and process together with the green paste until well combined and the mixture is very very smooth.

Turn it out into a bowl, add the cumin, turmeric, tandoori, black pepper and salt. Mix well. Squeeze out the milk from the soaked bread then add the bread into the mixture. Discard the milk. Add the egg if you are using it. Knead the mixture properly for about 3-5 minutes until everything is very well combined. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Shape the meatballs (make sure they are very smooth and round) and then lightly shallow fry them in very little oil preferably in a non-stick pan, just for a couple of minutes on each side. Drain and set aside. They will cook further in the gravy/masala, so don't over-cook them at this point. If they crack a little bit during frying, don't panic, they will be covered in gravy later so the small imperfections won't show, just be gentle when adding them to the hot oil and lifting them out.

For the Masala/Gravy

Heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the methi leaves, followed by the cumin seeds, cinnamon and cardamom. Once they splutter, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Next add the fresh tomatoes and fry until they dry up and all excess moisture is gone. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, followed by the tomato paste. Sprinkle salt, cumin, chilli, turmeric and coriander powders. Cook together until the oil is released from the sides. Then add the whipped yoghurt and cook until the gravy is thick and cooked through. Sprinkle the sugar and mix well.

Next, add some water (about half to one cup...just enough to immerse the kababs in). Once the water simmers, reduce the heat to low and then gently add the fried kababs. Cover and simmer on low heat to cook the kababs through. Every once in a while, open the pot and gently swirl everything together so that the gravy coats the kababs and they get turned over so that they may cook evenly on all sides.

Once the kababs are fully cooked, adjust salt, add the chopped green chilli and garam masala, garnish with coriander and serve!

If the kababs are cooked and you have too much gravy, gently remove the kababs with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Simmer the gravy on its own until it reduces in volume to the consistency you like. Once ready, slip the kababs back in and give them a swirl. Done! :)

If you want a slightly smoother gravy, before adding the kababs into it, you can blend HALF of the gravy and then pour it back into the pot and add the kababs.

Enjoy! :)


Comments

Can v use chicken instead of beef?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can.

Asalaamualaikum,

Can I freeze the koftas?

Jazakallah

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can.

As I live in the middle east so fresh methti is not always available, it is ok to us dry methi leaves?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can use dry methi leaves, use a small pinch as the dried ones are more potent in smell so you will not need as much.

Can you grill/bake the koftas instead of frying?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can, although they turn out better fried.

My beef has 10 percent fat in it. Sadly where I live I can't find meat without the fatty content. IS that okay?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It should be fine, but in case the kababs fall apart as you try to fry them, add about half an egg (lightly beaten) to the mixture, knead it in well and fry. That should help hold everything together as the fat will tend to melt as it gets fried and that may cause the kababs to break.

What is tandoori masala?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It's a powdered spice made up of many different dried spices grinded up together. It is red in colour and has a great flavour and adds both flavour and colour to foods.

Can I use shan's chicken tandoori masala?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes that is fine.

what option do I have if I dnt want to fry them can I cook it without frying or grilling it

Salam Fauzia

I have tried this recipe before and it came out really nice. But this time I don't know what went wrong, the kabab mix is too pasty and it doesn't look like I can form kababs from the mixture. What can I do to make it bit more firm?

thanks

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, add breadcrumbs, up to 3-4 tbsp. Or gram flour/besan. Then refrigerate it for some time so the excess moisture gets absorbed.

Thanks Fauzia. I left it as is in the fridge over night and they were super yummy :D
One thing I want to know, can I use half lamb and half mutton mince for this recipe?

thanks

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can.

Salam. Alhumdulilah, this turned out great!
My only problem is that my mother thinks that I am a really slow cook. I sometimes take 4-5 hours in preparing a single dish! And if I try to quicken up, I miss out something and the dish turns out unsatisfactory. :/

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thanks for the lovely feedback. I think speed comes with practice as you will gain more confidence in what you are doing the more you do it.

Salaams fauzia. I would like to know why my kebabs come out very firm and not soft. Jzks.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, could be that they were overcooked or pressed too firmly during shaping. Did you follow the recipe exactly?

Hi. Can I use the 'Lamb Koftas' recipe for the kababs here, since I only have lamb mince?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, yes you can.