|February 17, 2023


If you start listing some of India's favorite vegetarian dishes, Veg Kofta will come on or near the top of your list. These lip-smacking cottage cheese (paneer)/meatballs served with a rich, creamy, and decadent gravy have been winning hearts since time immemorial. 

Just like many other dishes in India's vibrant and diverse culinary heritage, Koftas, too do not follow any predetermined, specific template. From plain to heavily stuffed, Koftas come in different sizes, tastes, and forms today. But were Koftas originally this varied and diverse, or are they the inventions of time, place, and preferences? Let's find out.

The word 'Kofta' is mainly derived from the word "Kufte," which refers to finely minced or chopped meat. So, there's no doubt that the original Kofte was made from:

This Turkish delight evolved with time and place. Today they are savored widely in most Asian countries. While we Indians know these spicy balls by the name 'Kofta,' or Veg Kofta, the Lebanese know them as 'Kefta' or 'Kafta.' These meatballs are called 'Kibbeh' in the Middle East. Greece calls them 'Keftes.'

The origin of Koftas goes back to the year 1200. There are references to Koftas, mentioned in an old cookbook. They are described as meatballs resembling hazelnuts. Legend has it that Koftas gained popularity as the best way to use leftover meat and spices. Koftas were invented to turn these leftovers into something edible and delicious. 

This practice is thought to have originated in the Ottoman Empire. Kofta became one of the Empire's most famous and iconic dishes. Kofta had variations even within the Ottoman palace. These variants depended upon the ingredients available and the price of meat at that time. For instance, during the times when meat was expensive, rice or bulgur (Dalia) was added instead of breadcrumbs to stuff the meatballs and make them more filling. 

In due course, meat prices began increasing. So, the premium cuts of meat were replaced with finely chopped or minced scrap meat. These were then made into Koftas.

How to make mouthwatering Veg Kofta Curry?

This Veg Kofta Recipe makes delicious Kofta curry. Kofte are basically fried balls made from minced veggies and spices. These balls are deep/shallow fried and added to a creamy, tangy, and spicy onion-tomato base curry. The Kofta balls, too, are very delicious on their own. They're addictive and can be served as appetizers or snacks with either Tomato or Chilli Sauce or Green Chutney.


Veg Kofta is a cashew and tomato based curry with deep fried balls of minced up vegetables. Veg Kofta is an excellent vegetarian substitute for meatballs. Veg Kofta is best served with rice or naan.
Print Recipe
  • Prep time - 30 mins 
  • Cook time - 1 hour 
  • Total time - 1 hour 30 mins 
  • Course - Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack 
  • Cuisine - Indian 
  • Servings - 4 people


For Vegetable Kofta balls (This will make 30-35 small Kofta balls)

  • One large potato, or two small potatoes, boiled mashed/grated
  • ¾ cup - Cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup - Diced carrots
  • ½ cup - Green peas
  • ½ cup - Corn
  • 2 - Finely chopped green chilies (as per taste preferences)
  • A handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
  • One or two slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons - Corn flour (or as needed)
  • Oil for frying

Masalas and Spices

For the Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons - Oil
  • 1-inch piece of grated/minced ginger
  • 4-5 - Finely chopped/minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 - Small finely chopped onion
  • 2 - Pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon - Tomato paste
  • ¼ to ½  cup - Cream

Whole Spices

  • Two bay leaves
  • Two cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • A one-inch cinnamon stick
  • One mace
  • 1 teaspoon - Cumin seeds (Jeera)

Masalas and Spices

  • ¼ teaspoon - Alco turmeric powder
  • One tablespoon - Alco coriander powder
  • ½ to  teaspoon - Alco red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon - Alco cumin powder
  • ½ a teaspoon of dry mango powder amchur
  • Alco garam masala (as per taste)
  • One tablespoon of dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • Salt to taste

Method of cooking

To Make the Kofta Balls

  1. Add the following in a blender: Cauliflower, Carrots, Corn, Peas. Blend the ingredients to get a grated consistency. Remove this mixture into a bowl.
  2. To this, add the following: Mashed/grated boiled potato, Green chilli, Coriander leaves, All the dry spices, Salt, and Pepper. Give these ingredients a quick stir.
  3. Sprinkle some water (just a little to wet the bread) on the bread. Crush it and add this to the mixture, along with the corn flour.
  4. Add a tablespoon of corn flour at a time. Keep adding as much as required to bind the mixture.
  5. Mix everything well.
  6. Now make small balls of this mixture. Keep them aside.
  7. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a vessel. Once it turns hot, add a tiny piece of the mixture for testing.
  8. If the piece turns dark too quickly, it means that the oil is too hot. Lower the flame. If the piece disintegrates or crumbles, it means you can add more bread or corn flour. If it turns golden brown gradually, it means the oil temperature is perfect.
  9. Go ahead and add the kofta balls now. Do not add too many balls at a time, as this will lower the oil temperature and cause the balls to crumble.
  10. Once the balls turn golden brown, turn them over and let the other side cook. Your Koftas should get a golden-brown color.
  11. Drain and remove your Kofte on an absorbent paper.
  12. Repeat the process and fry the remaining kofta balls in the same manner.

To make the Gravy

  1. In a vessel, heat oil. Once it turns hot, add the following: Bay leaves, Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin seeds, and Mace
  2. Sauté till the above spices are light brown or start to change color. Add the ginger, garlic, and onions.
  3. Keep sautéing the mix till the onions become golden brown.
  4. Now, add the pureed tomatoes, salt, and turmeric. Mix them well. Cover and cook on medium flame till the mixture thickens.
  5. When the tomato mixture thickens, add the dry spice powders: Alco Coriander Powder, Cumin powder, Alco Red chilli powder, Dry mango, and Alco Garam masala
  6. Mix well and cook till the mixture starts oozing extra oil from its sides (around 2 mins).
  7. Add a cup of water and tomato paste. Mix and cook for around 5 minutes.
  8. Crush the fenugreek leaves in your palms. Add them to the curry.
  9. Let it simmer for 5 mins. Lower the gas and add cream slowly. Keep mixing constantly. Bring it to a boil.
  10. That's it! Your Kofta Curry is ready.
  11. When ready to serve, add the warm Kofta's to the gravy and give them a quick mix.

Now, if you find the above cooking steps too daunting or are in a rush, don't worry. You can make equally (if not more!) delicious Veg Kofta with Alco's Veg Kofta Instant Gravy Mix. It gives instant mouthwatering Kofta Curry gravy without you breaking into a sweat working with all the above ingredients.

Besides Alco Veg Kofta Instant Gravy Mix, Alco Foods offers a vast range of masalas and instant gravy mixes. Try our products, and your food will turn out to be next-level delicious!


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