Kashmiri Lamb Meatballs
(Kashmiri Kofta Kari)

Beef is not eaten, so kofta are prepared with minced lamb in traditional Kashmiri cooking.


  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt


  1. Mix lamb, 1 tablespoon yogurt, the gingerroot, cumin, coriander, salt, garam masala and chili powder. Shape into ovals, about 2 inches long and 1 inch thick.
  2. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet until hot. Cook and stir cardamom and cinnamon 10 seconds; reduce heat to medium. Add meatballs. Cook uncovered, turning occasionally, until meatballs are brown, about 15 minutes; drain.
  3. Mix water and 1/4 cup yogurt; pour over meatballs in skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cardamom and cinnamon. Remove meatballs with slotted spoon.
  5. Serve with Basmati rice if desired.

Yields 48 meatballs.