Nargisi Kofta in Gravy

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Average: 2.5 (2 votes)
Serves 3-4

Luxurious spicy kababs each of which encloses a boiled egg within the meaty kabab...a spicier version of Scotch Eggs. The delicious kababs are then dipped into a tomato gravy and simmered together to infuse flavours all through.

Ingredients for Koftas
400 gm
lean beef mince (no fat)
juice of 1 lemon
green chillies
1 tsp.
garlic paste
1 tsp.
ginger paste
bunch of coriander leaves, chopped roughly
1 tsp.
1 tsp
black pepper powder
1/4 tsp.
turmeric powder
1 tsp
cumin powder
2 tbsp.
breadcrumbs or gram flour
boiled eggs
oil for frying the koftas
Ingredients for Masala/Gravy
fresh tomatoes
(blended with skin)
grated onions
1 tbsp.
tomato paste/puree
1/4 cup
1/2 tsp.
ginger paste
1/2 tsp.
garlic paste
1 tsp.
cumin powder
1 tsp.
(to cut down the acidity of tomatoes)
4 tbsp.
1/4 tsp.
turmeric powder
salt to taste
chopped coriander for garnishing
1 tsp.
lemon juice
chopped green chillies

First prepare the Koftas

Put the garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander and lemon from the Kofta ingredients in a processor and grind them to a paste. Then add 400gm lean beef mince (no fat) and process again until everything is well combined and smooth. Turn the mixture out into a bowl then add the salt, black pepper powder, breadcrumbs, turmeric and cumin powder and mix again until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Make sure the mince has very little or no fat content in it. The reason is, once the koftas are formed, they need to be fried for a few seconds. If the mince has any fat in it, the fatty parts will dissolve in the hot oil and that will form cracks on the koftas, thereby making the meat fall off the egg as they continue to fry.

In the meantime, boil 3 eggs, then peel and slice each one in half. I prefer using half a boiled egg in every kofta, but if you want a full egg then just boil more eggs and keep them for the next step. :)

Remove the blended mince from the fridge and take a handful at a time, then shape it around the half boiled egg. Make sure the egg is fully covered and there are no cracks anywhere. Any cracks will result in the meat falling apart when you fry the koftas.

Once all are done, put them on a plate and cover, then refrigerate for at least another half an hour. I find by refrigerating them, it helps make sure they stay intact during frying.

Heat enough oil in a pan to fully immerse the eggs in. Once very hot, lower each kofta into the oil with the aid of a slotted spoon, and fry for no more than half a minute. This is ONLY to make sure the koftas maintain their shape and stay solid, they will get cooked further in the tomato gravy which comes in the next step. Drain the excess oil from the fried koftas on kitchen tissues.

For the Gravy/Masala

Heat the oil, sauté the onions until nice and golden, add the ginger+garlic paste, followed by the tomato paste. Stir and add the spices, yoghurt and green chillies. Cook until the oil begins to get released from the sides then add the blended tomatoes (I blend them with 2-3 green chilies and some coriander stems) and the sugar+salt. Cook the sauce until it thickens, adding a bit of water when it gets too thick. Once ready, taste and adjust salt.

Now add in the fried koftas that you have set aside, slowly one at a time. Once all are in, lower the heat and let them simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes. To turn them over, use a spoon and flip them gently, or swirl the sauce around by lifting the pot and swirling it gently.

Adjust salt/chilli. Garnish with chopped coriander and you can squeeze a bit of lemon if you like and a light sprinkle of garam masala, and serve with naans/parathas/rice...whatever you like.

I like to add cubed boiled potatoes in the gravy, that is entirely optional and can be left out if you want.

Enjoy!! :)


Do I have to fry them first can I not just refrigerate?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Fry them first otherwise they may fall apart if refrigerated too long.

Can we use chicken keema instead of beef for this recipe?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can.

Is this gravy supposed to be tangy with a sweetish hint? That is how mine turned out and I followed your recipe to the T. It felt like too many tomatoes.,.i was not quite sure how to adjust the taste. As for spices, what do you use? I put about a tablespoon of cumin powder and nothing else. Also, do you use turmeric in the gravy itself ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Some tomatoes are acidic in taste so they give a tangy flavour, but it should not be too tangy. The sugar added counters this. I normally use cumin and coriander powders and about a quarter tsp of turmeric for colour.

Salam Fauzia, How can I make sure that there's no fat in the mince? I can see some fat pieces in the mince that I bought. Thx

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, I normally buy the chicken in boneless pieces, trim off any excess fat and then mince the chicken at home. Not much you can do about ready made mince as they usually do add fat in that. InshaAllah it will be fine, just try with one first.