Seven Spice Chicken Meatball (Koftas) Curry

Hello hello! I apologize in advance for the MIA behavior. I've been having a pretty crazy summer to say the least and I just didn't get to write any stories. A lot of Instagram though if you follow me there, you'd agree. If you don't... well now's a great time to give it a shot! :)

My mom used to make amazing vegetarian "dumplings" (Koftas as they call it in India and other parts of the east) seeped in a rich, comforting and savory tomato curry that's full of ginger, garlic and fresh tomatoes and not to mention the spices. Last night I needed just that, but I made it with Chicken instead.

I've been relentlessly honing my curry skills for a while now and I've zeroed in on the right spice and herb combinations that give it that unique North Indian flavor with influences from the Persian and Afghan cuisines. Fragrant, decadent and aromatic—the memories of childhood.

This curry is essentially my typical tomato-based curry that uses a lot of fresh ginger and garlic and spices and gets cooked simultaneously along with some quick-cook Chicken meatballs or Koftas which then get seeped in the curry to soak up all the good juice. When served with rice and a refreshing salad, it tastes meaty, bold and heavenly!

Let's decode this baby.

{Oh and I do apologize for some photos that are not up to par! :( This meal was super last minute and this time, we just had to roll with what we got.}


Seven Spice Chicken Meatball (Kofta) Curry

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the Koftas

1.5 lb. Skinless and boneless Chicken thighs

2" piece of fresh Ginger (peeled and chopped roughly)

4 cloves of Garlic (peeled)

1 tbsp Corriander powder

1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1/2 tbsp Fennel seeds

1 tbsp Garam Masala

1 tbsp Salt

1/2 cup fresh Cilantro (washed and coarsely chopped)

2 tbsp high heat oil like Grapeseed

Ingredients for the sauce (Curry)

1 large can of crushed Tomatoes

2 medium red Onions (peeled and coarsely chopped)

2 tbsp Tomato paste

2" piece of fresh Ginger (peeled and chopped roughly)

4 cloves of Garlic (peeled)

1 tbsp Corriander powder

1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1/2 tbsp Fennel powder

1 tbsp Garam Masala

2 cups Chicken broth

1 tbsp Salt

1 tbsp Sugar

1/2 cup fresh Cilantro (washed and coarsely chopped)

4 tbsp high heat oil like Grapeseed


This recipe is so easy and fast, and to be even more efficient we make the meatballs simultaneously while the curry is simmering. This allows the dinner to be ready in under 30-45 minutes. So as long as you can juggle two running pans, and keep the flame medium to medium high and NOT high, you're golden.

First we make the mix for the meatballs. In a food processor toss in everything but the oil. Pulse the food processor 10-15 times for a period of 3 seconds each. When the mix is minced finely set it aside and start a heavy-bottom pan on medium high heat.

 The spices. Starting from left Chili powder (red one), Cumin seeds, Cinnamon powder, Garam Masala, Corriander powder, Cardamom seeds and Fennel powder (in the middle.)

The spices. Starting from left Chili powder (red one), Cumin seeds, Cinnamon powder, Garam Masala, Corriander powder, Cardamom seeds and Fennel powder (in the middle.)

In the meantime roll the chicken mix into medium sized meatballs (roughly 2-3 inches big) and set them aside on a large clean dish.

When done, rinse out and wash your food processor container and clean it well.

Bring up to heat another heavy base pan on medium high heat.

While that gets going, drop in the red onions and ginger garlic into the food processor and run. Puree well.

 Onions, ginger, garlic

Onions, ginger, garlic

Add in the oil to both pans. In one pan transfer as many meatballs as you can while still leaving some maneuvering room to toss them around.

In the second pan add the onion, ginger and garlic puree. Expect to hear a sizzle. Add in some salt and brown the onions for about 15 to 20 minutes, while stirring frequently.

 Onion and ginger garlic puree.

Onion and ginger garlic puree.

Simultaneously keep moving and tossing the meatballs making sure they are golden-browning (making up words as we go? Why not?) evenly.

When the onions are nice and caramelized add in all the spices, (hold the sugar just yet) and toast them for 2 minutes. Just about when you start to smell the cornucopia of what's in the pan, add in the tomatoes and the paste.

 Everything but the sugar

Everything but the sugar

 Tomatoes and tomato paste

Tomatoes and tomato paste

Move around for 2 minutes and add in the broth. By now the meatballs should be ready. Gently transfer them into the curry and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or till the time the oil and the curry have separated.

 The Koftas! Yum!

The Koftas! Yum!

 Here it is! The Seven Spice Chicken Kofta Curry

Here it is! The Seven Spice Chicken Kofta Curry

Add fresh chopped cilantro for good measure and incorporate.

Serve with fresh Basmati Rice and refreshing cucumber chopped up or sliced.

 A ballsy meatball curry

A ballsy meatball curry

This is my dinner from last night! And I hope it can be yours too, soon!

Love and Nomaste.