Beef Kofta Curry

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Over the past year I’ve seen the word ‘Kofta’ everywhere!

It mostly had ‘lamb’ in front of it, and a Kofta Curry usually involves meatballs of one kind or another, in a creamy, spicy sauce. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I’ve made it today with minced beef, as I didn’t have lamb, but of course you should use which ever you prefer.

If you’ve ever tried my Malaysian Beef Curry you’ll find these flavours familiar, as all the old reliable spices – Cumin, Coriander, Cayenne; not to mention Coconut Milk,  are included – with a few extra added.

I was delighted to find this recipe, and I must say that my kitchen is smelling wonderful today! Of course, you can use any meat you like, or even good-sized pieces of vegetable would be great in this delicious sauce, once it’s reduced.. Let’s go ‘Kofta’-ing, shall we?


  • Large deep frying pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Pestle and Mortar, if you have one.

INGREDIENTS:    This recipe will feed about 4 hungry people!                                                                    Beef Koftas (9)

  • 2 tbsps. sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • A finger of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large, fat green chilli, washed, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g beef (or, you know, Lamb) mince
  • A handful of  fresh coriander, chopped
  • 400g  can of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree – I always use Sundried Tomato paste.
  • 250ml of hot beef stock
  • 6 cloves – lightly crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
  • 8 green cardamom pods, shells removed, and seeds lightly crushed.


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until softened and lightly browned.
  • Add the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, masala, cayenne, ginger and chillies and cook gently for 5 minutes.

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  • Put the beef into the large mixing bowl, and break it up slightly
  • Scrape half the mixture from the pan into the bowl with the beef, add the chopped Coriander and mix well.

Beef Koftas (1)

  • Add the tomato puree, stock and coconut milk to the remaining mixture in the pan.
  • Add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom seeds – heat the mixture until it starts to bubble, and then reduce to a gentle simmer immediately.
  • Shape the beef firmly into walnut-sized balls. Add each one to the sauce as you make them.
  • Simmer gently for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is well reduced and thickened.

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  • Taste for seasoning – I added a little salt.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice, some Naan bread if you like, and chopped fresh coriander.


  • It was interesting to see how relatively few meatballs you got, compared to my Italian-style Meatballs, which have breadcrumbs and an egg to bind them. I’d say this recipe would feed 4 people very nicely.
  • With no bread – it makes this recipe Gluten-free, doesn’t it? 
  • The meatballs came together beautifully, and didn’t fall apart at all, which was one of my worries while I was making it. Keep the sauce just simmering while they’re cooking.
  • This is a fantastic sauce, all by itself – you could definitely use it for almost anything – and something like Cauliflower steaks would be fabulous in it. Don’t forget to swap the beef stock for vegetable if you’re going Veggie!

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I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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