Friday, April 15, 2011

Keema Kofta Curry - and Poila Baishak 'er Shubecha

There is a big correlation between Boisakh mash and Bengal. We the people in Bengal, outside Bengal and even abroad are all gearing up ,Today is Poila Boisakh – our happy new year and then followed by the birth date of Rabindra Nath Tagore on Pachishe Baishak.Baishak Mash is very much happening and is season of festival of sorts for all of us.With Nabaratri finished few days back, we had all sorts of Shahstis.The day before yesterday was Neel shashti.This is just our personal preference where we abstain ourselves from non-veg food for these five days. But Poila Baishak to every Bengali means good indulging food and cooking up storms in kitchen even tornado too as in many cases.

So, wish all of you a very happy Poila Baishak.Noton bacho’rer onek shubecha sobaike.



Amidst chaotic commotion where we live now, as lot of construction work is going on full swing for the upcoming metro lines, I do think there is upto an extent a bit of madness about poila boisakh here. All shops, sweet shops, jewellery shops are well decked up, even have sales offer going on. Does “Chaitra Sale” ring some bells in your ears and shine in your eyes. Well then it’s good but wait till you really can cash in the deals available now.I am brave enough but can’t imagine myself in the crowd to get the best deals in Chaitra sale, jostling and hitting each other, knocking on legs and then grabbing the deals. Well last part was exaggeration on my part much to your satisfaction.
But then even if I care enough to get Noksha bala or Choor in Chaitra sale or some other best deals, well is it that much worth it.

Few days ago we went to Esplanade; it used to be the heart of city, lungs that I can not say.There used to be an air of superiority about Esplanade and New market Shopping till a decade ago but in recent days ,there has been a paradigm shift and most of us end up shopping in Gariahat or close to our vicinity.
The hustle bustle in Esplanade,and the commotion there will leave a newbee somewhat disoriented but the veterans still like the idea of spending time or shopping there.Everybody seemed to be so much in habit of doing something if not nothing. And then the different voices of hawkers to seek your attention.





While coming back from there, our yellow taxi stopped at one of the traffic signal. Usually I like to half open the taxi window to breathe in some fresh air.But that day the window on my side was wide open. A hawker selling baby corn started pestering me to buy one packet of baby corn...And then something unusual happened.I started bargaining, and the initial price of Rs 60 per packet was reduced to Rs 30 per packet.Hubby dear sitting beside me and my daughter was smiling as if telling me you know well what you are doing.
Then the voice”Didi aap logon ka hi sahara hai varna hum to bas ….” Sentence was not completed and after that what followed was a long pause from both sides. Here a complete stranger selling me a packet of baby corn was making me feel lumps in my throat. And then the traffic signal went green from red. I left behind me a saga of emotions or perhaps I was carrying small bit of that emotion inside me. That made me think do these people really care about Poila Baishak or is it just another day for them.Do they have a luxary to spend fortunes on new clothes, food and outings. When we are so pre-occupied with the nitty-gritty of poila baishak for them I guess it is just another day. Another day looking to earn something.
My eagerness to get whatever best deals in Chaitra sale was over powered by that bundle of emotions I was carrying back home from that baby corn selling hawker.
Now you will be asking what I did with the baby corn. I made vegetable pulao with beans, carrots and baby corn cooked in with Sita-Saal rice, a variety of par boiled rice quite similar to Basmati rice. The rice is very fragrant and long grain rice which gives a nice texture to the pulao.My in-laws particularly liked the baby corn pulao.No, I haven’t taken pictures as we all were busy relishing it.

But yes we have this keema kofta curry to go with that vegetable pulao.


This is how we made keema kofta curry
Keema Kofta Curry-Meatballs in Spicy Gravy
Recipe requirements
  • Chicken mince-250 Gms
  • For the kofta/meatballs
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • Half inch ginger
  • 1 onion
  • About 4-5 almonds soaked in water and peeled
  • 2 slices of bread sides cut
  • 1 potato boiled
  • ½ cup of besan/chick pea flour
  • 2 tsp of ground red pepper
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of black pepper powder
  • 2 tsp of garam masala(better if prepared freshly)
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • Half cup of yogurt
  • Half cup of cooking oil to fry the kofta
Making of Kofta/meatballs
  • In a mixer-grinder- make a smooth paste of onion/ginger/garlic.
  • Now on a medium low flame stir-fry the chicken mince/keema for 6-8 mints or till they change colour.Add about half a tsp of lemon juice and stir it well. Take out the mince in a big mixing bowl.
  • Let the mince cool a little bit.
  • Add in boiled potato, bread slices and besan.Adjust the amount of besan or bread slices. The idea is to make meatballs or kofta that can shape well and can hold up while deep frying otherwise they might break while deep frying.
  • Add the prepared paste of onion/ginger/garlic.
  • Add all the dry grounded masala-coriander, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, garam masala powder.
  • Freshly prepared masala adds to the flavor of these kofta/meatballs.
  • Add in half cup of yogurt also.
  • To prepare fresh masala grounded-
  • Toast some 2tsp of coriander, 1tsp of cumin seeds, about 8 whole black pepper, 2cloves, 2 cardamom, and half inch cinnamon over low flame for 4-5 mints. Let it cool and then dry grind them in mixer with 2-3 dry red pepper (add as per your preference of tolerating heat and spice).
  • Now in a deep bottom pan, add oil, and let it heat up well.
  • Make small balls from the entire mixture. This much of the dough will make at least 15 kofta/meatballs.
  • Drop slowly in hot oil and deep fry them. Take out and drain. You can relish these meatballs as is or if you wish you may use up as filling in pita bread or wrap in tortillas. You may serve them with hummus as well.
Now to the making of gravy
  • Grind 2 onions, 3 fat garlic cloves, half inch ginger, and 4-5 almonds together.
  • Put a saucepan over a medium flame.
  • Add in about 3-4 tbs of cooking oil
  • Now add in the above prepared paste.
  • Deep fry the freshly prepared masala for 6-7 mints.
  • Add in 1 tomato chopped finely.
  • Add in dry grounded masala like- 1tsp of cumin powder, 2 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tsp of red pepper powder, and 1 tsp of garam masala.Add in salt as per taste. Add about quarter cup of water also.
  • Keep on stir/frying the prepared paste for another 5-7 mints or till the oil comes out by the sides.
  • Now add in 1 cup of water and lower the flame.
  • Let it cook for 7-8 mints at medium low flame.
  • When the gravy turns to become little thick. Stop the flame and add the deep fried kofta/meatballs. Cover it and after half an hour serve it roti or pulao or whatever way you like to relish.




If you are thinking to cook up a tornado in your kitchen, then perhaps you would like to see these old recipes
And Wish all the readers,Well wishers and Friends Shubho Nababarsho
Happy Cooking


  1. happy new year, Jaya! Yeah, sometimes it takes a stranger to get us thinking and provide a whole new perspective on life and priorities. The kheema curry looks yum. Loved the last pic the best

  2. Dear Jaya
    Subho Naba barsho, tomader sabaike...
    Khub bhalo laglo tomar subhechha pey.
    This recipe is too good. I have called bhagni and jamai for lunch on sunday. But I have already bought chicken ( I wished I had bought mutton , but now the latest fad in India is to eat chicken). Now tell me , can I try the gravy recipe with chicken? The gravy recipe looks awesome!! Respond fast here or at my e mail.
    I must see , what all recipes I have missed so far....
    Bhalo theko

  3. Hey Jaya,
    Every time i come here I lose time...not only reading the recipes but wat u write as well.And most of the time i open ur page only wen I've time at handcos i know i will be glued.....
    Now the keema kofta curry sounds gud and the pics make me drool....may be i will make this for easter...lets see

  4. Happy new year wishes Jaya..kheema curry makes me drool,cant take my eyes from ur clicks,mouthwatering!

  5. Vani,
    Hi how are you?
    yes and then we feel really blessed with whatever we have in our life..good to see you :-)..

    Ushnish Da,
    Yes sure the gravy can go very well with chicken or even mutton..But chicken pieces should be marinated prior of making with this gravy ..nahole moshlar sathe chicken pieces ke bhalo korey koshte hobe ..that might take another 6-8 mints at med-low..
    I used normal cooking oil /sada tel for this gravy not mustard oil ..and almonds are must because they provide the nice texture ..cream can also be added at the end to enhance the flavour of gravy..janaben kemon laglo ..bhalo thakben

    off late I really find it difficult to get on net ..but it feels so nice to see you here..Take your time I have always said real life is much more important than virtual life..

    thanks for your wishes and for coming here..

    hugs and smiles

  6. Dear Jaya
    Thanks for the info and the tips. Of course use of Almond is the key, will not miss it..
    But will try the Kofta too..sick of eating off the self masala chicken raw Kofta..same spice same falvor ...
    Normally if I dont use Mustard oil, I use only Ghee ( not strong smell type) as I have problem in eating other vegetable oil
    have a nice day

    Have a nice day...

  7. Shubho Nababarsha Jaya. khub bhalo thako ei notun bachore. between tumi ki akhon Kolkatay?

  8. Dear Jaya
    I always read the preamble of your posts 1st and then read the recipe. Yesterday I straight went to the recipe part and now read the intro...simply wonderful ( as usual)...the esplanade used to be "THE PARHA" of hostelers, who did not have a PARHA in Calcutta...I literally got a lump in my throat, while reading this note. Will be in Calcutta with Boudi for 3-4 days soon...and of course esplanade and New market is a must.. we always shopped in New market during our long stay in Dum Dum. Contrary to popular belief we always got the best choice and cheap, compared to Shyam bazaar or Gariahat
    Actually Esplanade was close to Medical college hostel of your Boudi, hence the habit
    Have a nice weekend

  9. Hi Jaya ..it was great to read this special post ..tomakeo shubhi nobo borsher shubhechha janachhi .

    Came her after Ushnish da told me about this gravy :)
    your pictures look really good n looking at them my husband wants to have this :)

  10. Happy new year, Jaya!

    Esplanade - really busy place - our tour bus took us to a South Indian restaurant there for lunch - I simply can't forgive them for it because I was hoping for a Bengali meal!

  11. Sayanatani,
    thanks for coming..

    Ushnish Da,
    We all have soft feelings about the places we can relate to ..nischoyi jaben Esplanade e shopping korte boudi ke niye :-)..

    Hi and that was nice to read in Bengali :-D...do try hope your DH likes it..

    You should have tried Bengali cuisine in "Bhojohari Manna" or "Oh! Calcutta" may be next time ..

    Thanks all for coming here ..
    hugs and smiles

  12. Keema kofta curry is looking so yummy and with cream all over it, just drooling here.

    shubho naboborsho to u though little late

    pls do check the event on my site: summer coolers


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