Chicken Kofta Recipe in Makhani Curry


Chicken kofta is not your average meatball. It’s packed with Indian spices, garam masala and chiles. To top that off, in this recipe the kofta are drenched in a rich, creamy curried, tomato sauce made with tomato, onions, cashew nuts, lemon juice, ghee, cream and a few spices.

Seriously, what’s not to love? Any time you can say ”meatball” and ”cream sauce” in the same sentence, something delicious is probably going on. We often make this for dinner parties because it’s a little too rich to serve on a regular basis. Having said that, I find myself coming up with “special” occasions all the time as an excuse to make this dish. If you try it out yourself, I bet you will too!

1. Info for Chicken Kofta Recipe in Makhani Curry

  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 55 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 261 kcal

2. Ingredients for Chicken Kofta Recipe in Makhani Curry

  • 2 pounds homemade ground chicken (see tips)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon papaya paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled and coarsely diced
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons methi (see tips)
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1-½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (or regular butter)
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro

3. Directions:

  1. Marinating the chicken: (One day ahead)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken with ground papaya, 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 3/4 teaspoon of garam masala. Using food service disposable gloves, mix the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day… Lightly beat the eggs and season with salt. Add the eggs and 2 tablespoons of chopped onions to the ground chicken. Mix well. Check seasoning (see tips).
  4. Grease disposable gloves with oil and form about 25 balls.
  5. In a large deep pan, heat the oil. Add the rest of the yellow onions and cook for about 6-8 minutes until nicely golden. Drain and transfer the caramelized onions to a blender or a mini-blender (for the makhani sauce), leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
  6. Using the same pan, sear the meat balls and cook them until nicely browned. Transfer to a platter.
  7. Prepping the chiles: Stem the jalapeño peppers. Using a paring knife, create a 2-inch incision in the peppers. Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching jalapeño pepper seeds.
  8. Grind the cashews in a blender. I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container. The nuts should turn into a fine mill, but make sure you stop before it becomes nut butter.
  9. In a mini-blender, combine the caramelized onions, about 2 tablespoons of water, the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of yogurt into a thick paste. If necessary, add more water for a smoother flow. Set aside.
  10. In the same large pan, add more oil if needed. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, whole jalapeños and the coarsely diced fresh tomatoes. Stir continuously and add the onion paste from the blender, the red chili powder, the rest of garam masala, cinnamon stick, coriander powder and about 1 to 1-½ cups of water. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Add the methi and place the meat balls in the sauce. Cover with a dome-shaped lid to enable the steam to fall back in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce. Season with salt. Cook for another 8 minutes. Thicken the sauce with the ground cashew nuts.
  11. Check seasoning. Bring back to a full boil. Add the heavy cream and sour cream to make the sauce richer. Finish with lemon juice. Stir well.
  12. Remove and discard the cinnamon and chiles.
  13. Transfer to a deep serving platter.
  14. In a small pan, melt the ghee. As soon as the ghee is melted, add the paprika. Transfer the paprika-flavored ghee to the serving dish.
  15. Serve with basmati rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  16. Bon appétit!

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