Turkey Kofta/Meat Balls Curry

May 1, 2015

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.” ~Nate Berkus~

Turkey kofta/Meat Balls Curry

I know that the spaces between my posts have been longer than usual lately, and I apologize for that. I’ve been busy trying new things, both in the kitchen and on the computer. The kitchen experiments I hope to share with you in the form of new recipes very soon, and the computer experiments are part of an ongoing project to improve and customize the Deluscious Bites site to make it a better place to continue our journey through life with food together. I’m hoping to have the new site ready to launch soon, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Besides updating you on the new things I’ve been trying lately, I want to tell you about another time in my life when I was trying new things. Growing up in India, my diet consisted almost entirely of vegetarian curries, rice and chapatis made at home by my mother. Our family was vegetarian, which was common in India. Occasionally when we ate out, I got to taste chicken or fish, but at home our meals were strictly vegetarian. When I asked for chicken at home as a child, my mother would feed me a vegetable curry and promise it was chicken.

Turkey Koftas 3

Turkey Kofta Cury (Meat Balls)

When I moved to the U.S. for school, I discovered a whole new carnivorous culinary world. Meatballs on spaghetti was an amazing experience to me, since at home, koftas (even vegetarian ones) were always eaten with rice or naans, never pasta. Living in the United States, my first taste of spaghetti and meatballs was just the beginning, and while I still love cooking with vegetables, turkey meatballs have become one of my favourite meals.

I love turkey meatballs, or koftas, for their nutrition and their flavour. For the health-conscious (which i try to be) turkey offers a great source of protein without a lot of fat. For the foodie (which I most definitely am) turkey is moist and flavorful and lends itself so well to the flavorings of different herbs and spices. I like experimenting with the spices in my turkey koftas, trying new things as I blend flavours to create a delicious new dish.

Turkey Koftas 1

Every day can be a journey of trying new things. Whether you’re moving to the other side of the world, creating something new, or experimenting with dinner, trying new things will add beauty and wonder to your life.

These turkey koftas can be made ahead of time, and frozen if needed. While fried koftas are popular and very tasty, I prefer to simmer mine in gravy until cooked.

Turkey Kofta/Meat Balls Curry:


For koftas (Meat Balls):

  • 1.5 lb ground turkey
  • 1 ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder/ cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeno (optional)
  • 15 grams chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For Curry:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 200 grams finely chopped onions
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 400 grams fresh tomatoes pureed
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon mace
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Few sprigs of fresh green cilantro


For Koftas (Meat Balls):

  • Combine all the ingredients and let the mixture rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator – this allows all the flavors to blend.
  • Grease your palm (this will prevent the meat from sticking to your hand) and make small round balls.
  • Store meatballs in the refrigerator until you cook the curry.

For Curry:

  • Chop the onions in food processor.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds
  • Add onions, ginger, garlic and bay leaves and sauté on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until brown.
  • Add tomato puree and cook on medium for 12-15 minutes.
  • Add ½ of the chopped cilantro and cook for a minute.
  • Turn off the heat and blend this into smooth gravy.
  • Pour this back into the pan on slow-medium heat and add all the dry spices.
  • Let it cook for 8-10 minutes stirring in between. (Add a few spoons of water in between if the mixture starts to stick to the pan)
  • Add 4-5 cups of water and salt, give the mixture a stir, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked, and the oil begins to separate.
  • Add the meatballs and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until meat is cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot over rice or with flat bread.

Turkey Kofta/Meat balls Curry 8

Turkey Koftas 6


Minced chicken can be used instead of minced turkey meat.

The amount of water can be adjusted, depending on the consistency of the gravy you like.

If you’ve prepared your meatballs ahead of time and frozen them, you can add them to the gravy frozen.



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