Kofta Curried Beef or Lamb on Saffron Rice

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Kofta curry is a recipe for deliciously spiced traditional Pakistani meatballs that are served in a creamy sauce over saffron rice. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of ground meat - usually beef, chicken, lamb or mutton, or a mixture - mixed with spices or onions. Although the recipe may seem complex it actually comes together pretty quickly. I make my rice in my pressure cooker while I am making the koftas and sauce and hold it in the keep warm function to give myself more time to work on the rest of the dish and to get the rice to the table while it's still warm and fluffy.


For the koftas:
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef or ground lamb or a combination of the two
3 small onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons Garam Masala Blend
1 1/2 teaspoon Chile Powder Light
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Hot or Cayenne Pepper Mild
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt Fine Grind
1/2 teaspoon Malabar Black Pepper freshly ground

1 bunch fresh cilantro roughly chopped for garnish

For the sauce:
3 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons Turmeric Powder
2 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper Mild or Hot
3 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 hot pepper, finely chopped (optional for extra heat)
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and crushed or 1 - 24 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 1/4 cup yogurt
Vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the saffron rice:
2 cups basmati rice
2 onions, chopped
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee, more if needed to completely coat rice
1/4 Teaspoon Saffron Threads either Spanish Saffron or Persian Saffron, crushed in your fingers
2½ teaspoons Whole Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt Fine Grind


Kofta curry:

Mix all the kofta ingredients in a bowl.
Form small meatballs the size of a walnut and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Sweat the onion in pan with hot oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili and spices and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the meatballs and sauté them so that they are golden on all sides. Add the tomato sauce and the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Add the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for about 15 minutes.

Serve the meatballs, topped with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve over saffron rice

Saffron rice:

Rinse the rice and drain well.

Sweat the chopped onion over medium heat in a pan with hot oil. When translucent, add saffron and cumin seeds and mix for one minute.

Add the rice and mix well. Stir for about 5 minutes until the rice soaks the oil and turns yellow.

Add 3 cups of boiling water, and add salt.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover as tightly as possible and cook for about 20 minutes.

If cooking in pressure cooker refer to our free downloadable Instant Pot Cooking Guide here.



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