Lentil Kofta Curry
60 Min

Lentil Kofta Curry

What makes this recipe special is how little meat is used to create maximum flavor. Just a few ounces of meat tossed with cooked lentils, spices and seasonings make the flavor of the meat stretch. Yet eating the kofta or meatballs, you would not know this because the lentils only enhance the meat, not take away from it. The whole cardamom at the beginning of cooking adds to the aromatic depth of the curry.
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Cook Time

60 Minutes



Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Combine ground meat with onion, lentils, herbs, coriander seeds, yogurt, black pepper, and salt and form roughly 7 to 8 meatballs.
Step 2
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
Step 3
In a stockpot, heat the ghee and add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds. The cumin seeds will pop and sizzle and within a couple of seconds, add the minced onions. Lower the heat, cover the stockpot and cook the onions until they are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger. Continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4
Add the chile powder and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat. Add 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 5
Gently slide the meatballs into the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the curry rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs.


6 ounces ground meat such as lamb, chicken, or beef

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/2 cup cooked lentils 

1 tablespoon chopped herbs

1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

1 teaspoon plain whole milk yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt


4 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil)

1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds or pods

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup minced onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoon unpeeled grated ginger

1 teaspoon chile powder

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes or 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped herbs for garnish

Notes & Variations

  • Use meat with roughly 20% fat in it; it will make for a softer meatball.
  • For vegetarian meatballs, substitute meat with finely chopped mushrooms and an egg.
  • Any kind of cooked beans or lentils will work, whole or split. Fully cook all the way and mash with the meat to make the meatball.
60 Min

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