Chicken Kofta Curry

The best way to describe Chicken Kofta Curry is Spiced Meatballs in Spiced (not “spicy”) Curry. The ground/minced meat makes the koftas smooth and full of flavor. The curry, or sauce takes that flavor to another level making it delectably different from other meat dishes. This great make-ahead Chicken Kofta Curry recipe is perfect for a party or large crowd. Simple, easy, flavorful and a crowd pleaser…you can’t go wrong with this one!

Prep Time: 10 min
Marinating Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 4-6


For the Koftas:

Ground/Minced Chicken – 1 lb
Ginger & Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp or to taste
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt – very little
Cilantro – few sprigs
Egg – 1

For the Curry:

Oil – 2 tbsp
Cardamom Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon Stick – 1″ pc
Bay Leaf – 1
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped in Food Processor
Salt – very little
Ginger Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced
Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp
Tomatoes – 2, medium, chopped in Food Processor
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp or to taste
Yogurt – 1 cup, well beaten
Water 2.5 cups or as needed
Cilantro – for garnish

To purchase spices online, visit


1. Mix all the ingredients for the Koftas and mix really well.
2. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 min.
3. For Curry part, heat Oil in a pan on medium heat.
4. Once hot, add the Cinnamon Stick and the Bay leaf.
5. Pound the Cardamom Seeds and the Cloves in a Mortar and Pestle.
6. Add to the Oil.
7. Immediately after that add the Onions.
8. Add a little Salt to speed up the cooking.
9. Once the Onions get dehydrated and start to change color to a light golden. add in the minced Ginger & Garlic.
10. Cook for just a couple of minutes.
11. Add in the Tomato Paste and mix well.
12. Add in the fresh Tomatoes and Turmeric powder and cook till the Oil separates from the mixture.
13. Once the Oil has separated, add in the Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder & Garam Masala.
14. Mix well and lower flame to a simmer.
15. Add in the well-beaten yogurt slowly and stir continuously while adding.
16. Add the Water to form the curry.
17. Increase the flame to a medium, cover and allow the Curry to come to a rapid boil.
18. Do the taste test and adjust the spices and the salt as needed.
19. Increase the flame to a medium-high and maintain the rapid boil.
20. Take out the Kofta mixture from the refrigerator and give it one more mix.
21. Dip your hands in water and take a small amount of ground chicken (smaller than the golf ball) and drop it gently into the boiling Curry.
22. Repeat process till all the koftas are in the curry. Do not touch the koftas.
23. Lower the flame back to a medium, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes (longer if the koftas are bigger).
24. After the 20 minutes, remove cover and mix very gently.
25. Garnish with fresh Cilantro leaves and it’s ready to serve.
26. Serve on a bed of rice or with Naans, Chapatis or some bread.


1. Use any ground meat of your choice – turkey, beef or lamb.
2. Make smaller Koftas for faster cooking.
3. Increase the amount of Garam Masala and Red Chili Powder to make it a spicier dish.

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91 thoughts on “Chicken Kofta Curry

  1. I tried the the chicken kofta toning and was absolutely amasing, you girls are great and will definitely try more of you dishes.Keep up the amazing work.

  2. Hi I love this recipe but have one question.

    When adding the yogurt you say to lower hear but I compeltely turned my stove off and allowed to cool a little, to prevent from curdling. For some reason no matter what I do when adding yogurt it alawys curdles. What am I doing wrong, am I not wisking the yogurt enough prior to adding?

    Any Tips…
    Thank you..

    1. Hi Shruti,
      Next time try adding a bit of the gravy/sauce to the yogurt, mix that in and then add the yogurt to the gravy….and def. whisk the yogurt well.
      Hope that helps 🙂

  3. Hello! Was wondering if there was a substitute for the cardamom seeds? Will regular green cardamom be okay? Or can the cardamom be omitted? Waiting for a response so I can make it this weekend. Thanks guys keep up the great work!

  4. Hi ladies,

    I’ve never really used any of your recipes before – seen a video or two on youtube but never really tried it.

    Was looking for a Chicken kofta recipe and decided to try yours because it didn’t look too difficult and the added bonus was not needing to fry the meat because it would have become hard and unpalatable.

    It turned out perfect. Rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken meat ball and gravy.

    I’ll be definitely checking out more of your recipes, thanks for the effort and delicious recipe.

  5. I actually thnk u gyz are great, but I really screwed up this dish…..I mean, I used minced mutton and the meat balls wud not cook n also got burnt coz I didn’t ‘touch’ them…I made small balls and also kept them for bout 45 mins…. 🙁 wat cud possibly hav gon wrong?

  6. Hi

    My Chicken Kofta Curry turned out very light in colour nothing like yours. Should have used less yoghurt? I used greek yoghurt which quite thick by itself.

    1. Hi Caren,

      Several ingredients can alter the color of the dish, including the yogurt. Greek yogurt is like concentrated regular yogurt so it can make the gravy more white as well as thicker. Also, the color of your red chili powder or the ripeness and color of the tomatoes can affect the color as well.

  7. How far in advance could this be made? Do you think you could make it a day ahead and just heat it up before serving? Thank you so much,

  8. Hello ladies,

    I have found you guys last week and made this dish & mango mousse, they are both so amazing, my husband (Italian Australian) loved them so so much! Thank you!

    I just have a questiion (sorry if it is silly…)! Do you cook another meat such as lamb, beef, pork, veal… or just chicken?

    My husband and I start falling in love with indian food (because of your recipes), so I would like to cook different flavour dishes! Thanks again! Hope you both a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks for your feedback! We have cooked other meats besides chicken but chicken seems to be very popular so we have many more of those recipes. We do have some other recipes on our list.

  9. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I am a huge fan of Show Me The Curry as cooking is my favorite pastime and ultimate form of relaxation. I am really interested in trying out this recipe, however I am allergic to eggs and hence can’t eat it. Can you suggest an alternative to that in the koftas? How else can an eggless kofta be made?
    Thanks so much!!! Keep posting such yummy recipes!!!


  10. You ladies are awesome and your dishes are lovely! I’ve even referred your website to my cousin in the nedherlands. Keep up the great job and keep the simple and delicious recipes coming.

  11. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    thanks for sharing such YUM recipes, i want to try this out over the weekend. Do we have to use onions chopped in the processor? Which is a good food processor to buy as i need to get one.

    thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Amrita,

      No,you can chop them by hand if you like. Food processors are a long time investment so get one with a powerful motor and be sure it has the attachments that you will use most. Many come with things you don’t use and don’t have the things you want.

  12. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I tried with lamb mince and i added pinch of kabab powder for the red color. Also i added 1 tablespoon of besan for kofta. It had come very gud. My husband liked it. Thnx for the lovely recipe.

  13. hi
    Hi hetal & anuja
    Im new to ur website. you both doing a great job. keep it up. and i find you guys are using a ‘cup’ for measurement. may i know hoa big your cup is? 🙂
    i really want to know. plz reply me. thanks in advance

  14. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Wondering if it is possible to freeze the following: Kadhai Chicken,Chicken Kofta Curry, Malabar Chicken curry, Spicy chicken curry,Butter chicken & the chicken and Paneer tikkas?

    Saw the responses to freezing daals like daal makhani etc-that was helpful.

    1. Hi Ranjani,

      You can freeze the things you mention with the exception of Chicken Kofta Curry. The koftas will not withstand the freezing and defrosting…they will fall apart.

  15. thats got my taste buds new to this site and need a list of all the essential herbs,spices,general sauces etc you need to cook this type of fantastic food, i want to totally stock my kitchen and get cooking,no more takeaways for me,is there a link for that information on this site??

  16. Hi Ladies,
    Does the fat from the ground meat not ooze out into the curry sauce? Or do you use ground meat with no fat? I want to try this recipe for a friend of mine but am afraid it might end up oily by boiling the koftas in the sauce.

    1. Hi Judy,

      Not too much oil goes into the curry sauce…in fact, any curry recipe with have the same issue of chicken fat going into the sauce. If you want, you can use minced breast meat which will be leaner.

  17. All this time, I used to bake the koftas on a baking sheet in the oven and felt pretty good about myself for getting a huge batch of koftas done at once (without having to hover near a frying pan for ages) AND using so little oil. And now I see that I can completely eliminate making the koftas before putting it into the curry. This is wonderful!! I love how your videos save so much of my time, in ways I can’t imagine. Thank you!

  18. I just wanted to say that I am THRILLED to have found you guys. I have been sending messages like crazy to Food Network for years, asking them to find an indian cook. I truly don’t know 1 person who doesn’t LOVE indian dishes! I am surrounded by people (of all ethnicities) asking for indian food and recipes. I am not Indian, but I cannot tell you how great I feel making your dishes (which my husband RAVES about!) and telling people about your website!

    You guys are GREAT!! I’ve been voting like crazy, I hope to see you on the Food Network soon!!

  19. hetal was definitely not in a good mood while shooting this video, she was’nt her usually.not even looking at anuja in the eye.
    but the recipe was amazing.loved it.

  20. Some of us, who are vegetarians, end up skipping these videos. Please keep us in mind when you are telling any general tips or say “vegetarians can try this alternative”! We may not come to know about those messages at all! We appreciate you repeating such information in a veggie video. Thanks

  21. Hi… mouth watering recipe… just a quick question…. how to store the remaining tomato paste for later use… please reply…Thanks in advance….

    1. Hi NE,
      We use what we need and freeze the balance in small quantity so that it’s easy to use when we need it – ice cubes are a great idea!

  22. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    I tried this recipe last night and it was awesome !! What a great recipe you ladies shared! I used to blend tomatoes and ypgurt together when ever I was going to add them both to the gravy and that way it does not curdle and it saves some time for blending and as well as cooking. I tried your method of just blending tomatoes and then later on adding yogurt a little at a time and then water – the taste was no different at all. May be you can try sometime to blend both together and see! Any way, thanks for awesome recipes and your hard work. You ladies look awesome too !!


  23. I tried this recipe and it was awesome, and also quick.
    One small request, can you show us how to make chicken burgers and some corn recipes? Thanks.

  24. hey, the recipe looks awesome; will surely try it this weekend.
    I really have to mention; Anuja, great dress! All trough the video i kept admiring it! Great food, lovely looking ladies, great combination….:)

    1. Hi Sonia,
      We have never tried it but are pretty sure it’ll work. It may alter the flavor a bit but are sure it’ll still taste good 🙂

    1. So true 😀 I was complimenting on their dresses so much, I thought they might think I am some kind of creep. So tried to cut down on my compliments!

  25. Can we use chicken meatballs from COSTCO & spice up the gravy slightly more? That may save some time.
    I’m always eager to try your recipes & check on youe website daily for new recipes.
    You 2 are doing a great job. Keep it up!!!

  26. Whenever you process tomatoes in a food processor or blender, they turn pink because you add air. Either shop fresh tomatoes fine or use canned tomatoes that you can squesh with your hands to keep the red color.

    If you have a food processor, you can grind your own chicken. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces and pulse until the consistency you want.

    I love this web site. Your recipes are delicious as well as nutricious. But how do you store Hing so that it’s smell doesn’t permeate the entire pantry. I have it tightly sealed, but I still smell it.

    Again, thanks for all the great recipes.

  27. YUM….this dish looks so good..Can we get ground chicken in the grocery store??? Does ground turkey give the same taste to the dish..

    1. Hi there,

      Right under the title and right over the comments section we have “Share the knowledge”, it’s the 4th button from the right 🙂

  28. By the way, forgot to mention you ppl are doing a gr8 job. I keep constantly checking for new recipes and try it out the same day and everything comes out gr8. Thanks for such gr8 recipes.Keep it rocking.

  29. Instead of adding tomato paste to give color, you could add the spices(garam masala, cumin powder, Coriander powder) to the cooked onion and then add fresh tomatoes. This way the dish comes out to be more dark in color like any Punjabi Dishes.

  30. hey anuja and hetal,
    you guys look awesome. i live in us and from where can we buy ground chicken in american stores. I have really tried to search but end up buying turkey(which i dont like much). i have never found it in any american stores. can you give me some idea from where do you buy yours..thanks..seema

    1. Hi Seema,

      NE is right, that is one source. We are also able to get it at “Sprouts” and at times have seen it at Kroger as well. Just ask the meat departments of your grocery store 🙂

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