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Baked Koftas (Meatballs)
By Anita Shah   

Baked Koftas (Meatballs)

Kofta is a rich, traditional South Asian meatball, also popular in the Middle East with a little variation. It is commonly made with minced or ground beef or lamb seasoned with onion and spices, though ground turkey can be substituted for a leaner version of the dish. Koftas are traditionally fried and cooked in curry, but here's a healthier variation of the traditional recipe.


  • Ground beef or turkey – 4 lbs
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Green chilies (serrano or jalapeño peppers) – 4, seeds removed
  • Green chili paste – 1 tsp
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Bread slices (white or whole wheat) – 2
  • Cilantro – 1 fistful, fresh
  • Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped
  • Oil
  • Salt


Add all the spices, ginger, garlic and green chili paste along with ½ tsp cooking oil to the ground meat, mix well and set aside for 1-2 hours (cover and refrigerate).

Baked Koftas (Meatballs)

Squeeze out liquid from the chopped onions and mix with the ground meat. Soak bread slices in water and add them to the meat after squeezing out water. Add chopped cilantro, rub some oil on your palms and form small, ping pong ball sized rounds. Grease an oven-safe serving pan and bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until golden brown.

With five minutes remaining in baking time, remove koftas, top them with julienned (thinly sliced) green chilies and return to the oven to complete baking. Serve with cucumber and mint yogurt sauce (raita) and vegetable pilaf, or in a pocket pita! You can also sauté onions and tomatoes on the stove and add the koftas before serving.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

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