Cocktail Meatballs (Chotte Kofta)

Taste and savor my authentic and unforgettable curries, kebabs, curried pasta, chutneys, vegetables and seafood from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2016) and Editor’s Choice India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine (2016) with simple easy-to-understand instructions on how to make different curry powder blends, sauces, and pastes.


Cocktail Meatballs (Chotte Kofta)

Serves 6-8

This is a very popular nonvegetarian hors d’oeuvre served at parties with Sweet Mint Chutney.


2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½  teaspoon ground dried red chilies
¼  cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 egg
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
Salt to taste

2 cups water
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1″ piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground dried red chilies
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
¼  cup vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼  cup plain low-fat yogurt

Prepare the meatballs: Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Make 20 uniformly sized meatballs and set aside.

Prepare the sauce: Place ¼ cup of the water, the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, ground chili, paprika, and salt in a blender and puree. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon and fry over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until the spices turn a shade darker. Add the onion and fry until brown and soft. Stir in the garlic paste and fry for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the turmeric and mix thoroughly for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and cook for one minute. Gently add the meatballs and remaining water, stirring thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the lid and increase the heat. Cook until the liquid has evaporated.

Gently transfer the meatballs to a warm serving platter. Remove and discard the whole spices from the sauce and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Serve with roti or skewer each meatball with a toothpick and serve immediately with Sweet Mint Chutney.

Sweet Mint Chutney (Meethi Pudina ki Chutney)

1 cups fresh mint leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
¼ ” piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
2 medium tomatoes
2 fresh green chilies
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
Salt to taste

 Remove and discard the stems from the mint leaves.  In a blender, combine the mint leaves and all other ingredients.  Blend to a fine paste.  Serve in a small bowl as an accompaniment to Cocktail Meatballs.


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