Meatballs with Gravy/ Koftay ka Salan

Koftay, Kefteh, Meatballs– these delicious spheres of ground meat can be found in cuisines from around the globe.

Koftay ka Salan is the Pakistani take on meatballs, and can be roughly translated as Meatballs with Gravy.  Koftay can be made a number of ways, with recipes differing from one family to the next.  Some use ground chicken, while others may use beef or lamb.  Some use a vast array of spices, while others may use just a handful.  Some people prefer to run the meat through a food processor, while others don’t find a need to.  So like I said, Koftay recipes are abundant, each one a little different from the other.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you, my dear friends, is one that’s special to my husband’s side of the family.  My husband loves Koftay, so after we were newly married, I made it a point to learn the exact way these culinary wonders were made 🙂





Koftay ka Salan

Yield:  4 Servings


For Gravy/Shorba:

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into desired sizes

For Meatballs/Koftay:

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • ½ onion
  • Cilantro, handful
  • 1 green chili
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons yogurt
  • Salt, to taste


Make Gravy/Shorba:

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until golden-brown.  Transfer onions to a blender or food processor, add yogurt, and blitz until smooth.  Set aside.

To the remaining oil, add ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and salt.  Cook for a few minutes, until the oil starts to separate from the spices.  Add onion/yogurt puree and 3 cups of water.  Cover the vessel and reduce heat to medium.

Make Meatballs/Koftay:

Combine onion, cilantro, and green chili in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, chopped contents of food processor, cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, and salt.  Mix well.  Transfer mixture to the food processor and pulse until smooth and well combined.

Form meatballs the size of golf balls and add to the gravy.  Add potatoes, cover, and cook until meat is cooked thoroughly, potatoes are easily pierced, and gravy has reduced significantly and thickened.


13 responses

  1. Excellent recipe. Thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog. You make cooking fun but the best part is the elimination of the prepared masala packets loaded with sodium I thought I would rely on for years to come.

  2. I LOVE koftay!! But sadly rarely make it b/c the recipe my mom makes (and the only one I’ve made successfully) is waaaaayyyyyy too time consuming. Yours looks yummy and I love that you’ve added potatoes! I add potatoes to almost all the salaans I make b/c I love potatoes more than I love koftay 🙂 Pinning your recipe and will make soon Inshallah!

  3. Oh, these look scrumptious. You are making me so hungry for lunch and all of those spices must make for such an amazing pop of flavors. So sweet that you learned to make his favorite dishes when you were first married. Those kind of generous things really help start a marriage on the right foot and set it up for success.

    • You’re too kind Geni!
      You know, I’m a big believer in compromise. I feel like nowadays the word “compromise” has such a negative connotation. I truly believe that in order for a marriage to work, both partners need to give and take a little. Both need to make an effort to try to learn what the other likes/dislikes. At the end, both partners’ combined efforts pay off 🙂

  4. I made this today and it was absolutely delicious!! I admit I was terrified when trying out the recipe, never made koftay before. My fears were unfounded… This is sublime! Thank you Chef!!!

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