Pakistani Meatballs with Gravy (Koftay)

Pakistani Meatballs with Gravy (Koftay)


"This is Pakistani meatballs recipe. Serve this classic dish hot with pita bread or naan."

Ingredients 1 h {{adjustedServings}} servings 606 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 3 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 606 kcal
  • 30%
  • Fat:
  • 32.6 g
  • 50%
  • Carbs:
  • 31.6g
  • 10%
  • Protein:
  • 45.8 g
  • 92%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 119 mg
  • 40%
  • Sodium:
  • 235 mg
  • 9%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. In a medium bowl, mix lean ground beef, half of the onions, chili powder, black pepper, cloves, cumin and cardamom. Shape the mixture into approximately six 2 inch meatballs.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the remaining onion in the vegetable oil until tender. Mix in the yogurt, lentils, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander seed, water, red pepper and salt. Place the meatballs into the mixture. Reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes, until meatballs are evenly browned and lentils are tender.
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Reviews 11

  1. 13 Ratings


These were delicious—but you have to change the preparation method. Meatballs will never get nice and brown cooking in a liquid; they'll just turn gray. You need to brown them separately. I cut about half an onion in a fine dice for the meatballs, the rest in thin slices. Use cayenne pepper, not what Americans call chili powder: that's a Mexican spice blend that'll change the flavor. I added a clove of minced garlic and a bit of minced ginger to the meat mixture as well, and salt. I only used a ΒΌ tsp. of cloves, because they're so strong, but I probably could've gone with the full amount. For the sauce, I caramelized the onions; added the garlic, ginger, and spices and stirred for a minute or two. Then I added 2 c. water and the lentils (I used chana dal, but red lentils would cook faster). I didn't add the yogurt until the end, because I didn't want it to curdle; and don't add salt until the end of the cooking time, either. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender; add the half cup of water if you need it (I didn't). Meanwhile, shape the meatballs. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet, and brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside. When lentils are tender, stir in salt to taste and whisk in the yogurt. Don't let the yogurt boil, or it will curdle. (Full-fat yogurt works best.) Add meatballs just to warm them. I served this with brown rice, topped with chopped cilantro (aka fresh coriander), with naan on the side. For me, total prep/cooking time was about 1.5 hrs.


Wonderful Pakistani cuisine! Thank you!

Caroline C

The onions for the meatballs need to be finely diced, not sliced. So I then followed the recipe but found it needed a lot of liquid to soften the lentils; I used a ton of plain yogurt, plus about a cup of chicken broth. After 45 minutes, the lentils were still FAR from being cooked, but by this time the meatballs had started to fall apart. After 75 minutes, I ended up with a panful of unappetizing-looking bland meaty sludge. Husband ate some begrudgingly. Not recommended. Sorry.