by Dahiza Umar
INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH
This is the unique kind of dish from the Punjab region of Pakistan. This dish is made up of small meat balls, dipped in the aromatic thick gravy. The use of spices is totally different from the usual used ones. The spices famous for their texture and aromas, like star anise, cardamom, cloves and garam masala etc. These spices are like main ingredient of the dish except the meat balls. The balls are spiced up and than fried to add the smoky flavors to the dish. Than curry / gravy is made and balls are added over it.
WHAT IS KOFTA MEANING?
Kofta is known as ”MEAT BALLS” in english. In Urdu, these are famous word using to called meat balls as KOFTA. In this dish, small meat balls like of any meat, mutton, chicken, beef is made and dipped into curry. Curry is the special sort of gravy, made by using traditional spices and butter to make its creamy textured. Sometimes, at the end cream is also added in the gravy and than this dish called as ”MALAI KOFTA”
MALAI KOFTA, is so called because as cream is known as malai in urdu. And than the texture of kofta and curry is so creamy, malai kofta is the name given to the dish.
COMPONENTS OF THE DISH
There are two main components of the dish :
- Meat balls ( kofta )
- Creamy gravy / curry
Meat like mutton, beef, chicken and even vegetables balls are made. Spices and some vegetables like onions, tomatoes etc added to make the koftas and than fried them. Different types of the koftas are made like creamy, cheesy and meat vegetables balls are used in aromatic gravy.
This curry is different from the usual curry make on daily basis. This curry has special use of the spices, which is not so common and with the addition of the cream. The addition of the cream is making this dish more palatable. Giving this dish the amazing texture, flavor and aroma. Butter is also used in this dish instead of oil, usually used in the region of Punjab, Pakistan.
GIVING SMOKY FLAVOR TO THE DISH
This step is optional step. Traditionally, this technique is the authentic one to give smoky flavor to the kofta curry. Some people may dislike the flavor of coal in this dish. But using the traditional technique, to giving amazing coal and smoky flavor, is just reaching this dish to another level.
To give flavor of smoke, we have to heat up the coal on direct fire and burn it, until red color appeared. After that put this red hot coal and drip few drops over the coal. This cause formation of smoke from the coal. And than put that coal into the dish for fer minutes, depending upon the amount of flavor you want.
This dish is evolved from the old times, by Turks. At the time of Indian subcontinent, when Turks visit the Royal king of that time and introduced this dish. This dish was loved by the king, and from that time after some amendments according to the flavors. This dish introduced to the people of the Indian Subcontinent. And from that time after division, This dish included to the national cuisine of Pakistan.
VARIETIES OF KOFTA
There are many different types of kofts cooked in Pakistan like :
- Chicken kofta karahi
- Beef kofta rice
- Kofta biryani
- Anda kofta ( egg and meat balls curry )
- Nargisi kofta ( meat coated eggs curry )
- Beef kofta masala
- Malai kofta
- Rice kofta
- Dry kofta ( snacks ) etc
- Carbohydrates : 28 grams
- Protein : 14 grams
- Fats : 24 grams
- Fiber : 5 grams
- Preparation time : 20 minutes
- Cooking time 40 minutes
- Total time : 1 hour
INGREDIENTS FOR KOFTA / MEAT BALLS
- Mutton / beef mince : 1 kilogram
- Salt : 1 tbsp
- Red pepper flakes : 1 tbsp
- Onion chopped : 1 small
- Cumin powder : 1 tsp
- Dried pomegranate seeds : 2 tbsp
- Gram flour : 6 tbsp
- Oil : for frying
METHOD OF COOKING
- Take a mixing ball and add the mutton mince into it.
- Mince must be dried completely, otherwise it may cause breaking up the meat balls.
- Add all the dried ingredients into the meat and mix it well
- Add this mixture into the blender and give it a blend.
- The smooth mixture is ready, now make balls of it.
- Now fry the meat balls until golden color appeared.
- Set it aside for further use
INGREDIENTS FOR CURRY / GRAVY
- Onions : 2 large
- Tomatoes : 2 large
- Garlic paste : 4 tbsp
- Ginger paste : 4 tbsp
- Green chilies paste : 6 tbsp
- Butter : 8 tbsp
- Cream : 1 cup
- Yogurt : 2 cups
- Salt : 1 tbsp
- Red pepper: 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
- Saffron : 1/4 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
- Coriander powder : 2 tbsp
- Cloves : 2
- Green cardamom : 4
- Bay leaves : 1
- Cinnamon stick : 1
METHOD OF COOKING
- Take butter in the cooking pot and add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaf into it.
- Saute the whole spices for a while and add chopped onions into it.
- Now add tomatoes and garlic, ginger paste into it.
- Fry it for 10 minutes and than add 1 cup water into it.
- Now let it set for 20 minutes, simmer it and than add yogurt into it.
- After adding yogurt, add meat ball over it and let it fry for a while.
- Add cream into the gravy at last.
- Garnish it with green chilies and coriander.