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October 9, 2023

Nargisi Lamb Koftas


Recipe Provided By
Nik Sharma
Prep Time

-- min

Cook Time

30 min

Total Time

1 hrs, 5 min



Meatballs in 2 serving dishes on table.


For the Koftas 

  • 1 pound American Ground Lamb
  • 1/2 cup Panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 shallot (quartered)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Enough neutral oil like grapeseed for shallow frying plus extra to grease your hands
  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, (peeled)

For the Sauce

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, (finely diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • One 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A pinch of kasoori methi
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat plain unsweetened yogurt
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped) 


Add the American Lamb, Panko, egg, yolk, shallot, garlic, ginger, garam masala, salt, Kashmiri chilli, and turmeric in the food processor bowl. Pulse combined, and the mixture to resemble a dough. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Prepare the koftas. Grease your hands with a bit of oil. Grab about 1/2 cup of ground American lamb meat. Shape and flatten the meat into a disc and place one boiled egg in the center. Shape the meat around the egg to encase it thoroughly and place it on the baking sheet. Wrap and shape all the koftas similarly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat about 1/4 cup oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fry the koftas carefully until golden brown all over and the internal temperature of the ground lamb reaches 160F/72C, as recommended by the USDA. Transfer the koftas to a baking sheet lined with absorbent paper towels or a wire rack.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet and discard the rest. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.

Add and sauté the onion until lightly browned; the cooking time will vary.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the garam masala, Kashmiri chilli, turmeric, and cardamom and cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and water. Add the kasoori methi and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Place the koftas on top of the tomato stew. Spoon some of the stew over the koftas. Cover with a lid and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve hot or warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.



Because meat shrinks on heating, using more of the panade when coating the egg is better. Press it tight and refrigerate to help it firm up.

There is no substitute for kasoori methi (dried methi leaves). If you can’t find any, just leave it out.

Airfryer variation. Shape the koftas as instructed, brush them lightly with oil, and air-fry them at 400F/30 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the ground meat; it should be 160F/72C. 

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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