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Lamb Kofta in Tomato Curry

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeMediterranean

Executive Chef Aran Essig
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, Colo.

This ground lamb dish was featured as a Middle Eastern special in Holmes Dining Hall’s menu at the University of Northern Colorado. The meatballs are seasoned with an array of spices, including allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon—a good fit for the upcoming autumn season—and served with a creamy tomato curry. Chef Essig uses halal lamb to meet the needs of Muslim students.


4 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups bread crumbs
6 lb. ground lamb
12 oz. onion, finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp. grated gingerroot
3 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Tomato Curry Sauce
1/4 cup canola olive oil blend
1 lb. onions, chopped
4 1/4 oz. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. ground turmeric  
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
2 lbs. tomato puree

2 tsp. chopped cilantro
2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. salt


1. Prepare meatballs: In medium bowl, combine eggs and cream. Mix with bread crumbs and refrigerate 1 hour.
2. In separate bowl, mix lamb, onion, ginger, garlic, parsley, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, salt and nutmeg; knead well.  Add in egg mixture and knead well.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Form mixture into 2-ounce balls. Place on sheet tray and bake at 325 F to an internal temperature of 155 F.
4. Prepare tomato curry sauce:  In stockpot, heat oil; add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and paprika and saute briefly.  Add tomato puree and simmer until tomato puree reduces to half its volume. Tomato reduction should be thick and have begun to stick to bottom of pan but should not scorch.
5. In blender, place tomato mixture and puree until smooth. Return mixture to pan and stir in cilantro.  Add water to reconstitute and bring to simmer. Add cream and yogurt.  Season with salt and adjust seasoning as desired.
6. To serve, toss cooked meatballs with sauce.

Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board

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