Kofta Pullao

Indian Meatballs with Rice Pilaf

(Contributed by Uji and Garry Vroegh <a043140t@bc.seflin.org>

Ingredients Directions
Lamb Meat Balls
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 green chiles, seeded
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, leaves removed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 20 mint leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
Basmati Rice Pilaf
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups Basmati rice¹
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 piece gingerroot, 1-inch, peeled and minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 green chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (or ghee)
  • 1 Tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted²
  • 3 Tablespoons raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 sprigs cilantro, chopped, plus 1 sprig for garnish
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon gingerroot, peeled and grated
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1. Texamati or other American-grown Basmati rice can be used; if Basmati rice is not available, substitute a long-grain rice, cooked to minimize stickiness.

2. To toast almonds, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast them, in a 350° oven about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the nuts, until they are golden and fragrant.

Meat Balls

In a food-processor fitted with the metal blade, process all the ingredients except the oil until well chopped and combined. Shape the mixture into balls the size of marbles.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Brown the meat balls in batches. Remove from the pan to paper towels to drain. Set aside.


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the ¼ cup of oil. Add the rice and sauté about 1 minute or until the rice is shiny, stirring constantly.

Add boiling water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until the rice is just al dente and the water is absorbed. (Check periodically to make sure the rice does not stick to the pan. If it is sticking, stir it or add a little more water or both.)

Remove from the heat and let cool until the steam subsides. (Uji says that cooling ``"keeps the rice from getting gloppy when you put it in the casserole later.'')

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions, gingeroot, bay leaves, green chiles, turmeric, cayenne, salt and sugar. Sauté for 1-2 minutes over the low heat. Add the cooled-down rice and toss to combine. Remove the bay leaves.

Assembly & Serving

In a 4-quart casserole dish, layer half of the meatballs and top with half of the rice. Repeat the layers. Dot the rice with butter. Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with the almonds and optional raisins and serve with raita.

Yield: 10 servings


In a non-reative bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro sprig for the garnish. Mix thoroughly, and serve garnished with the sprig. Makes about 2 cups.

Return to Sheep's Creek Farm Lamb Recipes page.

© 1998 Ronald Florence
Last modified: Sat Sep 18 16:31:35 EDT 1999