Khurmani Kofta Curry/Meat balls stuffed with dried apricots

Khurmani kofta curry with peas pulao

When it comes to cooking meat I cannot imagine leaving out onions and garlic but going through a book on Kashmiri cooking in the Saraswat style I came across a recipe that I had to cook! I was actually wondering how to use the apricots I had in stock (from the Diwali hamper). I have had this book titled The Pleasures Of Kashmiri Cookery by Anu Wakhlu for nearly two decades and had tried out a few dishes years ago. Leafing through its pages I came across this recipe using dried apricots.
The recipe is the same except that there are minor changes in the measurements and the addition of one extra ingredient.
300 grams finely minced meat (I used goat meat)
10 apricots
A handful of blanched, peeled and roughly chopped almonds (optional)
1/2 cup curd
2 tbs chilli powder
2 tsp aniseed powder
1 tsp ginger powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
4 tbs mustard or refined oil
2-3 cloves
1 black cardamom, ground
A pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Shahjeera for garnishing (given in the book but I used coriander)

Apricots stuffed with almonds and the meat balls


  • In a large bowl put the minced meat, aniseed powder, ginger powder, salt, 1 tsp chilli powder, ground cardamom, 1 tsp curd, 1 tsp oil and mix well. Marinate for thirty minutes.
  • Soak the apricots in hot water and set aside for about 30 minutes till they are plumped up.
  • Remove the kernels and stuff that space with chopped almonds. 
  • Form the minced meat into balls. Put each almond-stuffed apricot inside each ball.
  • In a pan add 3 tbs oil. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Add the chilli powder and sprinkle a bit of water so that the powder does not burn.
  • Add beaten curd and the rest of the spices except the garam masala and mix well.
  • Next add two cups of water and let it boil.
  • Gently add the stuffed balls and let them boil on a high flame for 5 minutes.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes till the koftas/meat balls are cooked through and the gravy thickens.
  • Add garam masala, and the garnish. 
  • The dish is ready to be served. 

The curry felt delightfully different. The koftas did not remain as photogenic as they looked before they were added to the gravy. But I didn’t mind at all. Aniseed is a spice that I don’t often use in my cooking. Teamed with the rest of the spices, our meal was a very aromatic one indeed!

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