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Venison Meatballs in a Yoghurt Curry Sauce

Venison meatballs loaded with Indian flavours are served in an easy yoghurt-based curry sauce that complements the rich meat in the kofta.

Preparation for this simple dish takes around 15 minutes and cooking takes around 25 minutes which makes any night curry night!

Overhead venison meatballs in an Indian-style yoghurt-based curry sauce with pilau rice.

Indian Venison Kofta

Venison is not really a meat associated with Indian flavours, it is typically thought of as venison stew or maybe even a gourmet venison burger. But it has a glorious flavour that I think work really well with a bit of spice!

Indian meatballs are called kofta and these venison kofta are not the first time they have appeared on my site.

They join my Chicken Kofta Meatballs and they are a fine addition even if I do say so myself. I’ve even got some vegetarian potato and paneer “meatballs” in the form of Malai kofta that are stunning.

Just like those meatballs and many of my recipes these definitely fall into the Indian-inspired category rather than being a traditional Indian recipe.

The meatballs are get flavoured with some fennel seeds, garam masala, fenugreek, chilli and garlic.

Then they are brown in a mix of ghee and mustard oil which forms the base of a beautifully spiced yoghurt curry sauce. I love yoghurt as the base for a curry sauce, if you want another example check out my Indian-inspired salmon curry.

Venison meatballs in an Indian-style yoghurt-based curry sauce with pilau rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I avoid these meatballs drying out?

Venison is a very lean meat and as a result of the lack of fat, you need to avoid overcooking these meatballs.

I usually use a meat thermometer and ensure that I hit that target temperature of around 71°C or 160°F for serving.

You could potentially cook the meatballs less and whilst I love rare meat, it is not something that I do with minced meat of any description.

Can I use dried curry leaves?

I personally would not, I do not think that they taste of anything at all. Fresh curry leaves are readily available in good Indian/Pakistani stores and online and they freeze wonderfully!

Buy a big bag chuck ’em in the freezer and you are good to go.

Can I use low-fat yoghurt?

The risk with using low-fat or even no-fat yoghurt is that the sauce is much more likely to split.

Consequently, I would advise against it, you could stabilise it with flour but then you need more water to thin out the sauce which messes with the flavour balance.

If I split the sauce can I rescue it?

To an extent yes, but it is also important to point out that the sauce will still be edible.

Begin by removing your meatballs and then start adding the split sauce to more yoghurt (little by little) whisking as you go.

Return the sauce back to the pan, you will have diluted the flavours which you can turn back up with the addition of some garam masala and chilli powder if you like.

Overhead close-up venison meatballs in an Indian-style yoghurt-based curry sauce with pilau rice.

Serving Suggestions

As with many of my Indian-inspired recipes, I usually serve these curried venison meatballs with rice. They are photographed here with a nice golden pilau rice.

Another great option would be Bombay potatoes. My spiced crunchy roasted version of this recipe would be a real treat with that spicy tomato sauce!

But you can get all sorts of creative with this recipe and it would be great on a meatball sub.

But take that idea and run with it, make a large naan bread then roll these up in it. You could do something similar with chapatis too!

Add some kachumber salad and a bit of mint raita and you are laughing all the way to the bank of “I just made the best sandwich ever”.

On that note, I’m off, I have a sandwich to make!

Close-up venison meatballs in an Indian-style yoghurt-based curry sauce with pilau rice.

Equipment Used

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

  • Stovetop.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan or skillet with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kicthen knife.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Spoons and kitchen tongs.
  • Quick read meat thermometer, optional.
Indian inspired venison meatballs in a yoghurt based curry sauce served with pilau rice.
Yield: 2 Servings

Spicy Venison Meatballs Recipe in a Curry Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Venison works wonderfully with Indian spicing and the flavours in these spicy venison meatballs are like the greatest hits of Indian food.


For The Meatballs:

  • 400g (14oz) Minced Venison
  • 1 Green Chilli Pepper
  • 35g (1 Medium) Banana Shallot
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • ⅛ Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 25g (¼ Cup) Dried Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ Tsp Salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 35g (1 Medium) Banana Shallot
  • 6 Dried Kashmiri Chilli Peppers
  • 12 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ½ Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Full Fat Natural Yoghurt (remove the yoghurt from the fridge for an hour before cooking if possible)
  • ¼-½ Tsp Salt


  1. Cut the shallots for both the meatballs and the sauce in half, then peel them and dice them as finely as you can add half of them to a bowl with the venison.
  2. Dice the garlic cloves for both the sauce and the meatballs as finely as you can and add half of them to the bowl with the meatballs.
  3. Chop the green chilli as finely as you can and add it to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs.
  4. Mix everything together and then form 10 meatballs a little smaller than a ping pong ball, they should weigh almost 50g (2oz) each. Using wet hands helps with this process.
  5. Heat the ghee and the mustard oil in a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium heat and when it is hot brown the meatballs on all sides. Whilst they are browning spoon the ghee and oil mixture over them to get a nice even colour.
  6. Remove the meatballs and set them aside and return the pan to a medium heat.
  7. Add the dried chilli peppers, curry leaves, diced shallot and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato puree and cook for a further 2 minutes mashing the tomato puree to ensure that it cooks out.
  9. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric and cumin, then pour in the water and remove the pan from the heat.
  10. Mix some of the base of the sauce into the yoghurt to temper it then add the yoghurt to the pan along with the salt and stir to combine.
  11. Return the pan to a medium-low heat and add the meatballs, roll them around in the sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes, it is important that the sauce does not boil from this point because it increases the risk of the yoghurt splitting. I aim for an internal temperature of around 68°C or 155°F when I stop cooking the meatballs, this will deliver a temperature of around 71-72°C or 160°f when served.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 681Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 284mgSodium: 1273mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 70g

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!


Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

The image of these gorgeous meatballs has been popping up in front of me all day. Just now on Tasteologie and I had to jump over here to check them out. I love the Indian spices in the meat and sauce, and I think I could eat an entire pan of them. Stunning photos!

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Thanks Valentina, they are really exceptional!

Claudia Lamascolo

Monday 1st of October 2018

my husband will go deer hunting the week of Thanksgiving here thats when the season starts. HE would love this recipe so I am printing this off for him right now! thanks

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Thanks Claudia!


Monday 1st of October 2018

Now this works for me, gamey or not! Love venison, love meatballs, love Indian. Win win win :D

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Same here!

Jacqueline Debono

Monday 1st of October 2018

I love venison and I love Indian flavours, so this recipe really has my name on it!

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Enjoy :)


Monday 1st of October 2018

I love the sound of these meatballs. It's been years since I had venison and I can't even remember what it tastes like. I def need to try it again.

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of October 2018

You are definitely in for a treat, these taste wonderful!

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