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Hello friends, I am so excited to bring you one of my family favorites. This dish is called Kofta Aloo, kofta means meatballs and aloo means potato. This is a Pakistani/North Indian style meatball curry. Moist meatballs and potatoes are cooked in a thick smooth curry sauce with some basic spices.

I grew up eating delicious home made Pakistani food by my mom. Since I have learned from her I have the same approach to cooking. I like to show that cooking can be easy and with simple ingredients you can make delicious meals. If you are new to cooking in general or are excited to learn south Asian food, I recommend starting with simple recipes. This is definitely a great recipe to start off with and will quickly become your favorite.

There are different variations of this dish. I think everyone will make it a little different. But they all have two parts, ingredients for the meatballs and the gravy curry sauce. I always say more than the recipe focus on the techniques of cooking. Because when you know techniques and why certain things are done with a particular type of cuisine or ingredient you can apply that to any recipe. You can leave out the potatoes and add peas or make it plain. This can also be paired with hardboiled eggs.

This curry is great served with rice, naan, chapati/roti, brown rice, pita bread. Side of salad would be nice.  If you make it a little spicy you can always serve a side of whipped regular yogurt that has salt/pepper.

EASY KOFTA ALOO CURRY (MEATBALL/POTATO CURRY)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Make this authentic meatball curry. Moist meatballs and potatoes that are cooked in a thick smooth curry sauce.

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb. ground beef 85% lean
  • sm. onion roughly chopped
  • 4 med. garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/2 " piece of ginger
  • sm. bunch cilantro (washed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

GRAVY SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lg. onion (roughly chopped)
  • 3 med. tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 4-5 med. garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/2 inch ginger (peeled)
  • few pieces of cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cooking oil of choice (see recipe notes)
  • 1 lg. potato or 2 regular size potatoes (cubed)
  • extra water 1 1/2 cups
  • cilantro for garnish

Instructions 

MAKE MEATBALLS

  • Add ground beef to med. mixing bowl.
  • In food processor finely blend onion, garlic, ginger & cilantro.
  • Add powder spices & onion mixture to ground beef. Mix well. Don't compress meat between hands, gently mix.
  • Lightly wet hands and shape into meat balls. I usually yield 14-17 meatballs. set aside.

GRAVY/SAUCE INSTRUCTIONS

  • In food processor blend onion/garlic/ginger, set aside.
  • Blend tomatoes in food processor as well, set aside.
  • In heavy bottomed pan. On med-high heat add oil to pan.
  • Add onion mixture, cinnamon/cloves/bay leaf and cumin seeds. Saute till light golden. water will evaporate.
  • Add tomatoes/powder spices. Cook till water as evaporated. Oil will rise to top. This ensures that you powder spices have cooked. This can take up to 10min.
  • Add meatballs, don't overlap. Let cook for 5min. Turn heat to med.
  • Add potatoes and water. You can add a little bit more or less water depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy.
  • Cook for 10-15min more minutes. Towards end of cooking time turn heat to med-low. Some oil should rise to top. You can check potatoes for doneness.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro

Notes

*I used 85% lean ground beef. Some amount of fat will bring flavor to meatballs and keep them moist. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey if you don't use ground beef. I always let my ground beef come to room temp. before I cook it. Room temp. beef will mix well with other ingredients and when cooked won't get shocked and toughen up.
*I have said to puree the tomatoes/onions/garlic/ginger for the gravy. To make a nice thick gravy for this dish you need a good amount of onions and tomatoes. But if you just roughly chop these ingredients the gravy will be chunky and not smooth especially if you don't give it enough time to cook. I have finely chopped the onions/garlic/ginger for the meatballs before but usually  for this dish you want the meatballs to be not chunky but smooth. I have also finely chopped onions for the gravy to before. Whenever I use more than 2 tomatoes I usually always puree them. But I want to show you this is a great way to give any curry gravy a smooth texture.
*South Asian food does not always have to be very spicy. I always say you can leave out the chili powder. Because the other spices/ingredients give so much flavor. You can always add some fresh green/red chilies as well for freshness or even cayenne pepper. My kids don't like food very spicy and don't like to bite into chilies so that's usually why I omit it but they make a great garnish as well.
*For south Asian food I always prefer to use a neutral oil. If I use olive oil it's the light one not the olive oil used for marinades. Avacado, canola, rapeseed, light olive oil and ghee are great options. Another important tip to remember for south Asian food is that mostly the base of dishes are always started off with onions, tomatoes and spices. So if you don't have enough oil these ingredients will not be able to sauté well and won't build the intended flavor for the dish. So you can always add a little bit more oil.
Author: Shazia
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: PAKISTANI/INDIAN

pot of eggs in gravy

 

ANDAY AND MATAR SALAN (eggs and peas)

If you are tired of having eggs for breakfast, well here is a perfect comforting easy one pot meal you need to make. This is a Pakistani eggs and peas dish called Anday Matar Salan, has the luscious gravy that we all love in South Asian cuisine. The base is made with aromatics and fresh tomatoes. Topped with hard boiled eggs and slight sweetness from the peas.  Anday and Matar is the perfect dish for any day, especially busy weekdays

This dish is easy and perfect for beginner home cooks to try out. I have some notes below, please do go over that. The key to making any salan (curry) is to really focus on the cooking techniques and methods, that is what I like to go over in every recipe. 

RECIPE NOTES 

  • FRESH INGREDIENTS:  I always try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. You will notice a great difference in your cooking. Use fresh garlic, ginger and tomatoes. 
  • TOMATOES: I really prefer a smooth gravy in Pakistani dishes. One way to do that is by pureeing the tomatoes in a blender. If tomatoes are not that ripe, this helps break them down and cook evenly. To achieve the thick gravy I used 3 medium tomatoes. 
  • POWDER SPICES: The spices are simple, very standard Pakistani spices. You can adjust the red chili powder to your liking. 
  • CUMIN/MUSTARD SEEDS: These are added to hot oil, to bring out the flavor and aroma. You have to watch closely because they easily burn. As soon as  you add these, turn the flame lower. You can surely skip the mustard seeds if you don’t have any. 
  • VARIATIONS: I also make this dish with potatoes. You can cube 2 medium potatoes. Add it with the tomatoes. It should take about 15 minutes for potatoes to get tender.
  • SMOOTH SHORBA (GRAVY): This will happen by browning the onions and cooking down this mixture. You don’t want any large chunks of onions and tomatoes in this gravy. Before adding the water you need to sear this mixture. Once the water from the tomatoes has cooked off it will be more searing. This method is called bhun-ing. If masala is sticking you can add little water. You will see and hear it sizzling in the oil. There will be some separation of the oil from the masala mixture. This adds a depth of flavor as the aromatic and spices fry in oil.

 

It’s great to have options when it comes to preparing chicken.  I think it can be a challenge sometimes to flavor chicken, especially chicken breast.  Recently I have found myself using chicken tenderloins in many recipes. They are moist, take no time to cook up and kids love them as well.   This recipe is my take on chicken piccata.  Chicken piccata is a dish that originated in Italy.  Piccata is a way of preparing food, usually meat is sliced, coated in some type of breading, sautéed and than finished in a sauce.  I have used chicken tenderloins, you can use thinly sliced chicken breast or pound chicken breast so it’s thinner and cooks evenly.  It’s all about this lemon buttery sauce poured over the chicken and fluffy egg noodles.

This baked tilapia is delicious, and perfect for a healthy diet. My kids love tilapia because it doesn’t have a fishy smell.

BAKED TILAPIA

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon & thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven 425 degrees F
  • Mix all spices & lemon zest with olive oil. It will be like a thick paste.
  • Pat fish dry. Rub spice mixture on all the fillets.
  • Place 2 lemon slices on each fillet (optional you can just squeeze the lemon juice but I like the roasted lemon)
  • Place fish on foiled or sprayed baking sheet . Bake for 25 min or until fish flakes with fork. My fillets were pretty thick. If you are using the thin fillets baking time will be less.
  • Enjoy!
Author: Shazia
Course: Main Dish