Sunday, 11 November 2012


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Koftay ka salan (meatballs in gravy) is a classic Pakistan dish in which meatballs are made by combining minced meat with an exciting blend of spices and cooking them in a smooth tomato and yogurt gravy….

meatballs in gravy

 For the koftas (meatballs):

500gm lean beef mince (no fat)
1  medium onion chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 
2 green chillis choppped
1  small slice of bread soaked in milk
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red chili powder
5-6 black pepper corns
3 cloves
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp Roasted chick peas (optional)


Grind roasted chick peas, poppy seeds, desiccated coconut, cloves and black peppercorn in to a fine powder, put this powder along with chopped onion, coriander, ginger garlic paste green chilies, minced meat, slice of bread(
Squeeze out the milk from the soaked bread before adding it in), red chili powder and salt in a food processor and process it until well combined and the mixture gets smooth. 

Turn it out into a bowl, and knead the mixture for about 3-5 minutes until everything is very well combined and let it stand for 30 minutes for flavors to blend properly.

Shape the meatballs, make sure they are very smooth and round and then if you want you can lightly shallow fry them in very little oil preferably in a non-stick pan, just for a couple of minutes on each side, don’t over cook them as they will be cooked in the gravy too,  Drain and set aside. (some people prefer to add them straight in to the sauce with out frying them).

For the gravy:

2 medium onions, chopped finely
5 fresh tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup yogurt, fresh and whipped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fenugreek leaves
1 tsp red chili powder
1-2 green chilies, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom pod
2-3 green cardamoms
3-4 cloves
6-7 black peppercorns
½ tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
¼ cup oil
salt to taste (keeping in mind that we have already added some salt in meatballs)
chopped coriander for garnishing


Heat the oil in a pan and fry onions on medium flame till they turn golden brown. Remove them from oil and drain on paper, next add the fresh tomatoes, fried onions and green chilies in to a blender and blend well till you get a smooth paste. Reheat the pan and add the ginger garlic paste, followed by the blended tomato paste. Add in salt, cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric powder, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamoms and cinnamon stick; fry it well adding a few splashes of water every now and then until the oil is released from the sides. Now add the whipped yogurt and cook until the gravy gets thick and cooked through.

Next, add 1 cup of water, once the water simmers, reduce the heat to low and then gently add the koftas/meatballs. Cover and let it cook on low heat for 20 minutes, every once in a while, gently move the pan to swirl everything together so that the koftas/meatballs get turned over and get cooked evenly on all sides.  Once the meatballs are fully cooked and the gravy reaches your desired consistency, adjust salt, add the fenugreek leaves, coriander powder and garam masala, mix it gently with spoon, cover the pan and let it cook for further 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with naans/roti and can also add a few boiled eggs in the serving dish if you like to.

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