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Indian Chicken Kofta Meatball Curry

Chicken kofta curry recipe featuring soft and tender meatballs that are poached in a silky smooth & spicy masala-style sauce or gravy.

This delicious and easy Indian-inspired curry takes a little over an hour to cook, but most of that time is spent caramelising onions slowly, which gives you plenty of time to prepare your meatballs.

Overhead Indian chicken kofta or meatball curry served with naan bread.

Chicken Meatball Curry

My love of Indian flavours is well documented here on Krumpli as is my love of meatballs. So this recipe should come as no surprise to regular visitors!

They are not the first Indian-inspired meatballs I have done here, they join my Indian venison meatballs.

Indeed they are not my first chook meatballs either. They join these delicious chicken meatballs in a honey and mustard sauce.

This chicken kofta curry recipe takes a somewhat unusual approach though and gently poaches/steams the meatballs in a sauce.

This means you get the most incredibly soft and tender texture.

These are then paired with a gently spiced masala-style gravy. It is loosely based on the one that I use in my chicken tikka masala and Malai kofta recipes.

The sauce is tempered with cream that both mellows the spice in the dish, but it also adds a smooth silky texture that perfectly matches the meatballs.

Indian chicken kofta or meatball curry served in an iron karai.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I swap the chicken for turkey?

Yes absolutely, switching this from a chicken to a turkey kofta curry works really well.

How hot is this curry?

Now that is a question that I often struggle to answer because tolerance to capsaicin is so personal.

This recipe uses just a little less than 1½ tablespoons of Kashmiri chilli powder, which is a relatively mild chilli powder.

That is tempered with cream which makes this dish relatively mild, however, you should trust your own judgement.

You can always add heat with more chilli powder for fresh chillies, taking heat away is far more difficult.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, but if I were preparing this in advance I would make the meatballs and chill them and prepare the sauce until it was finished.

I would then combine the two for the final cooking, it only adds 10 minutes to reheating a completed dish and it results in a much better meal.

Can I freeze this curry?

I have tested freezing this and it yields results that are ok, but not great.

I personally would not bother, but if you want to then go ahead, you will likely need more water when you reheat the dish. You will need to defrost the curry before reheating.

Overhead close-up Indian chicken kofta or meatball curry.

Serving Suggestions

Rice is always a great option when it comes to a side for a curry, and this meatball number is no different.

I typically opt for plain basmati rice, but a nice pilau rice would be fabulous too.

But there are always other options! They work exceptionally well with Bombay potatoes and a bit of kachumber salad on the side adds a wonderful freshness.

If you want to really get out there, they make the most incredible meatball sub!

Sticking with the Indian theme you could make thin naan bread and roll them up in there with this red onion salad.

Let me know how you choose to serve this chicken kofta curry in the comments below!

Close-up Indian inspired chicken kofta or meatball curry.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan with a lid.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Grater.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Indian inspired chicken kofta or meatball curry in a rich masala sauce.
Yield: 2 Servings

Chicken Kofta Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Everyone loves meatballs and these simple chicken kofta make a perfect, centrepiece for this simple and really tasty Indian inspired curry.


For the Chicken Kofta:

  • 350g (12 oz) Minced Chicken
  • 1 (35g) Shallot
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 15g (Half of the Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • ¼ Tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 30g (⅓ Cup) Coarse Dried Breadcrumbs

For the Masala Sauce

  • 150g (1 Cup) Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 15g (Half of the Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree (Concentrate)
  • 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 200g (¾ Cup) Tomato Passata
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • 1 Tsp Ground Fenugreek
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Double Cream


  1. Cut the onion in half for the masala sauce, then peel it and slice it as finely as you can into half-moon shapes.
  2. Heat a 28cm or 11" frying pan (not nonstick if possible) over a low-medium heat and add the ghee, followed by the onions. Cook for 35-40 minutes stirring every 4-5 minutes.
  3. Whilst the onions are cooking peel and chop the garlic for the kofta as finely as you can.
  4. Peel and grate the ginger for the kofta.
  5. Cut the shallot in half and dice it as finely as you can.
  6. Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and mix together, then form them into 10 meatballs and set aside, these will be around 45-50g in weight or 45-50mm (2") in diameter. Using wet hands helps with this.
  7. Peel and finely chop the garlic for the masala sauce.
  8. Peel and grate the ginger for the masala sauce.
  9. By now the onions should be a nice golden colour, add the tomato puree, garlic and ginger for the sauce, then stir constantly and cook for 1 minute.
  10. Sprinkle over the chilli pepper, coriander, turmeric and black pepper for the sauce and stir and cook for 15-30 seconds.
  11. Pour in the tomato passata give it a stir then stir in the water to form a nice thick sauce.
  12. Add the garam masala, salt, and dark brown sugar and pour in the cream, then crush in the dried fenugreek for the sauce and give everything another stir.
  13. Place the meatballs in the sauce and give them a roll around, add a lid and cook over a low to medium heat for 15 or 20 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 73°C or 165°F.


If the sauce is too thick after cooking you can thin it out with a little water, this will very much be defined by your passata.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 829Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 369mgSodium: 1227mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 51g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 19th of February 2023

Great recipe and super easy to make. My only change was to add fresh coriander to the koftas. Yum!

Brian Jones

Monday 6th of March 2023

Glad you enjoyed them Andrew :)


Friday 19th of June 2020

This looks so good, I don't think I've ever had chicken meatballs in a curry sauce so I really need to try. Thank you for sharing my Tomato & Onion Salad:-)

Kylee from Kylee Cooks

Monday 6th of March 2017

Hey, Brian - as you know, I made this last night. It was DIVINE. Absolutely perfect and one of the most delicious things to come out of my kitchen. That's saying a lot! Thanks for the recipe!

Everyone else? go ahead and try this. it really does taste as amazing as the pictures.

Brian Jones

Monday 6th of March 2017

Thanks Kylee, so glad you enjoyed it, thanks for adding even more confusion to the World of food this afternoon... It would seem the Brits, Kiwis, Aussie and Americans really are nations separated by the same language ;) :D

Mary * Goodie Godmother

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

You're making me want to cook all sorts of savory dishes and it's killing my "to-do" list for holiday desserts. But this is another one I need to make once I get some ground chicken on hand. Until after Thanksgiving, preparation of the proteins is out of my hands, haha.

Brian Jones

Thursday 17th of November 2016

Hahahahaaaaa, I'm not very sweet as I am sure you know so savoury is definitely my bag... Aint nothing wrong with a long 'must cook list', mine is slightly longer than War and Peace :o

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

Friday 21st of October 2016

We are all about Indian meals at the moment too. These look so good and I will be trying them next week!

Brian Jones

Sunday 23rd of October 2016

Enjoy Dannii, let me know how you get on.

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