Spice up your life with Lajina Masala

Lamb/Beef Koftas (meatballs) in a curry sauce

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Serves 6 people
Chopping board, knife, big bowl, grater, big saucepan, cup, wooden spoon or spatula
Prep time
Cook Time

This is a curry that seems to shine whenever I cook it for dinner parties or supper clubs.

It doesn’t matter if I use beef or lamb mince, it’s always a favourite, great with rice or scooped up in a chapati or roti.

Mix the mince and make the meatballs up, chill them in the fridge to settle and then pop them into the curry sauce to cook at the last minute, almost steaming them in order for them to keep their shape.  You can make the meatballs up the night before to save some time.

For an added extra, you may like to add a knob of butter, a little drizzle of cream or yoghurt towards the end, my final picture shows the dish as a basic one.  Once you have added cream, butter or yoghurt, unless you use dairy-free versions, the dish will not be dairy free.

Juicy meatballs in a tasty, spicy sauce, no wonder they are a Lajina Masala family favourite!



  • 1/2 Teaspoon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    chilli powder
  • 1 Tablespoon
    ginger/garlic paste (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon
    garam masala
  • 600 Grams
    mince lamb or beef or vegetarian mince
  • 1 Tablespoon
    fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • 2
    onions, chopped or grated
  • 1 Tablespoon
    Cooking Oil
  • 1
    Curry Masala Pot
  • 200 Grams
    tomatoes (from a tin)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
  • 1 Tablespoon
    fresh coriander, washed and chopped


  1. Make The meatballs.

    Place the chilli powder, ginger/garlic (if using), salt, garam masala and the fresh coriander into a big bowl and give it a good mix using your hands. Almost knead it to get the flavours mingling.

  2. Take a tablespoon of the mix, using damp hands, shape the mix into round balls, you should make about 26.

    Lay the meatballs to settle and allow to chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.

  3. Fry your onions in the rapeseed oil and keep adding a splash of water to ensure you cook your onions until golden, make sure you don't burn them.
    To speed up the onions, add some salt now.

    A medium heat is good, too low and the onions become sweet, too high and they burn. If you decide to watch over them, then a higher heat is fine, just keep a jug of water close by to cool the pan down when needed.

    Onions frying in pan
  4. Just before adding the curry masala, make sure you have a jug of water ready.
    Now's the time to add the curry masala mix and when adding it to the onions, pour in half a cup of water to create a sauce and stop the spices from burning.

  5. Now, cook the spices through for about five minutes and add water if the pan dries out.

    Keep an eye on the spices and ensure you keep stirring to stop the pan from sticking, always add a splash of water if need be.

  6. Pour in tour tomatoes, (half a tin) and cook your sauce for five minutes. Don't forget to keep stirring the sauce.

  7. You should have a rich, flavoursome sauce, add your RAW meatballs into the sauce, keep the heat medium and seal the meatballs in the sauce, Don't move them around too much as you don't want to break them.

    The sealing process take patience and little bubbles of fat will start to appear in about five minutes and that's when you add an extra mug of water and simmer until the dish is cooked through, be gentle and patient.

    The meatballs will take 30-35 minutes to cook through.

  8. Finishing your curry.

    You have the most basic version and this is where you may like to add a little knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of cream/yoghurt and I always like to add fresh coriander.

    Enjoy your meatball curry, serve with fresh chapaties or rice as an easy everyday meal!


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