Easy Beef Kofta (Meatballs)

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A kofta is basically a meatball flavoured with desi spices. In J’s family they call them kebabs. In my family it’s a kofta. J’s family serves them dry with fried yuca or cassava root chips (called mogo). In my family we add them to curry and eat it with rice or roti.

The version I’m sharing today are a childhood fav of J’s that I learnt from his mom.

So I call these the Merchant Family Ninja Kebabs.

Im sharing the original kofta recipe as well as a gluten free version that I made for our Whole30. Both are great. For best results, I recommend pan frying these. But I have also made these in the oven and they turn out just as delicious. They just don’t get that crisp outer layer that comes from pan frying.

The key to the flavour is the crushed coriander seeds. They add an extra crunch and a burst of flavour.

These are also great to make ahead and freeze.

So whether you call them Kofta, Kebab or Meatballs these are what we make on repeat in our house and I hope you will too! Just don’t call them Kofta Kebabs – cause thats like saying ‘meatball meatball’. Now who wants some chai tea? :p


Easy Beef Kofta (Meatballs)

A basic desi meatball that works by itself or can be added to a curry or sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: gluten free, keto, Paleo, Whole30
Servings: 6


  • 1.5 inch ginger
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2.5 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour (bajra flour) (for gluten free or Whole30 version substitute for 2 tbsp arrowroot flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala (see my recipe linked below)
  • 2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds


  • Into a blender add the ginger, garlic, onions, cilantro, green chilli, and a splash of water. Blend till smooth.
  • Mix with the remaining ingredients: ground beef, flour, eggs and spices. Mix well, it is best to use your hands for this.
  • To check the flavour you can cook a small meatball in the microwave. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
  • Preheat a large frying pan with a few tbsp of oil. Shape the meatballs into golfball size meatballs and pan fry on medium till golden brown all over.
  • Serve warm with your fav dip.


For oven method: Preheat oven to 400F (204C), place the shaped meat balls onto a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Cook for 25-30 mins, turning halfway to let them brown all over.ย 
Try my garam masala mix in these. It works really well.ย 

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