Nargisi Kofta (serves 4)


For the meatballs

  • 750 grams minced chicken
  • 1.5 tsp Handi cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp Handi coriander seeds
  • 1 black Handi cardamom
  • 1 small Handi stick cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Handi salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp Handi red chilli powder, or to taste
  • 0.5 cups gram flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp Handi poppy seeds

For the gravy

  • 1 large onion, chopped roughly
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 0.25 cups oil, or as needed
  • 0.5 cups full fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp red Handi chilli powder, or to taste
  • 2 tsp Handi salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp Handi coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Handi cumin powder


Step 1

First, you need your eggs prepped. Put 8 eggs into a saucer and add water. Bring the water to a boil and then boil your eggs rapidly for 6 minutes. This will make your eggs soft boiled, which is something we want.

Step 2

Take a dry non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds. Roast them on high heat till the cumin releases smoke. Set aside. Do the same with the coriander seeds, black cardamom and cinnamon.

Step 3

Grind all the whole spices into a powder.

Step 4

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs (except the eggs) in a bowl and mix with your hands till the spices are well distributed.

Step 5

To form the nargisi kofta, take a medium sized chunk of the meat and spread it over your palm. Take your egg, place it in the middle and then using both hands spread the mince around the egg. Try to make sure there are no cracks in the meat. You will find it helpful to oil your hands before handling the meatballs.

Step 6

Once the meatballs are ready, heat a small amount of oil in a pan and add the koftas. Fry them very lightly, just until the outsides of the koftas are no longer pink and they begin to hold their shape. Our goal isn’t to cook the koftas, but to just make them a bit sturdier.

Step 7

On to the masala: Start by taking your onion and garlic and adding it to a pot or pan with oil in it. Saute it till dark brown

Step 8

Transfer your onions and garlic to a processor and pulse till smooth. Return back.

Step 9

Add your yogurt and all the spices to the onions and saute everything, drying out some of the moisture from the onions and yogurt. You are aiming for a thick, dry mixture.

Step 10

At this point, you can add the water for your shorba. Add as much (or as little) as you like, though less than 3 cups are not recommended. (Remember, you can top it up again later). Bring this water to a boil

Step 11

Add the koftas to the pan. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and allow the koftas to cook for 25 minutes, checking every so often and turning the koftas here and there, so they have ample time to soak in the masala.

Step 12

Serve warm with Handi rice or roti!