Pakistani Meatballs with Gravy (Koftay) Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Jun. 4, 2001
Wonderful Pakistani cuisine! Thank you!
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Photo by Doughgirl8
Reviewed: May 13, 2008
These were delicious—but you have to change the preparation method. Meatballs will never get nice and brown cooking in a liquid; they'll just turn gray. You need to brown them separately. I cut about half an onion in a fine dice for the meatballs, the rest in thin slices. Use cayenne pepper, not what Americans call chili powder: that's a Mexican spice blend that'll change the flavor. I added a clove of minced garlic and a bit of minced ginger to the meat mixture as well, and salt. I only used a ¼ tsp. of cloves, because they're so strong, but I probably could've gone with the full amount. For the sauce, I caramelized the onions; added the garlic, ginger, and spices and stirred for a minute or two. Then I added 2 c. water and the lentils (I used chana dal, but red lentils would cook faster). I didn't add the yogurt until the end, because I didn't want it to curdle; and don't add salt until the end of the cooking time, either. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender; add the half cup of water if you need it (I didn't). Meanwhile, shape the meatballs. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet, and brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside. When lentils are tender, stir in salt to taste and whisk in the yogurt. Don't let the yogurt boil, or it will curdle. (Full-fat yogurt works best.) Add meatballs just to warm them. I served this with brown rice, topped with chopped cilantro (aka fresh coriander), with naan on the side. For me, total prep/cooking time was about 1.5 hrs.
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Photo by Doughgirl8

Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Northfield, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2010
Delicious flavor, but I did not follow the recipe. Instead I used Doughgirl8's suggestions. Did take quite a while (over 1.5 hours) to complete. Will probably leave out cayenne pepper next time. Meatballs were way to hot for hubby.
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Reviewed: Apr. 17, 2009
This is pretty close to what I make at home for myself and my hubby, though the method is different. What I do is I grind the onion till it is pureed. I then add half the onion (squeeze out all the water) to the ground beef, with about 2 tsp chopped cilantro and 1 tbsp gram flour with all the spices. I fried the onion till golden brown, add the spices fried them. Then i whipped the yogurt and added it to the onion mixture 1 tbsp, then stir, 1 tbsp then stir, until all the yogurt was incorporated. Cooked it for 10 minutes added 2 cups water, let the mixture boil for 15 minutes and added the meat balls and lower the heat to low covered and let it cook in the gravy for 35 minutes. When done, decorated with chopped cilantro
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Photo by Anthro

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2006
The onions for the meatballs need to be finely diced, not sliced. So I then followed the recipe but found it needed a lot of liquid to soften the lentils; I used a ton of plain yogurt, plus about a cup of chicken broth. After 45 minutes, the lentils were still FAR from being cooked, but by this time the meatballs had started to fall apart. After 75 minutes, I ended up with a panful of unappetizing-looking bland meaty sludge. Husband ate some begrudgingly. Not recommended. Sorry.
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Photo by Caroline C

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Fort Lupton, Colorado, USA

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Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2005
A very strange cross between koftay & dahl that doesn't seem to hit the mark on either. My Pakistani family members called it "completely untraditional" and said it was something they'd never come across. Although the dish was edible, we didn't enjoy it because it simply didn't taste like traditional Pakistani food. Aside from this, I found the recipe itself to be rather imprecise. I had no idea what type of lentils to use, so I went with the brown ones. Two onions in the meat mixture was way too much, and I wasn't sure how much to set aside for the sauce as the recipe doesn't specify. After 1 hour of cooking on low heat, the lentils were still hard, and the sauce was still very soupy. I then covered the mix and continued to cook on medium heat for another full hour. At that point, the lentils were finally softening up, and the water was almost fully absorbed/evaporated. The total prep time for me was about 20 minutes, but the cook time was a full 2 hours. In the end, I gave it two stars because it was edible; but overall, this recipe totally missed the mark.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2005
This recipe didn't come out especially well for me. After 30 minutes of cooking on low, the meatballs were still raw, the gravy was still very watery, and the lentils were still hard as rocks. I had to turn the heat up to medium and boil for an additional 30 minutes. The lentils were still hard, but at that point all the liquid was gone, so I just gave up and served it as it was. The flavor of the meatballs was okay, and the dish was edible, but not good by any means. Perhaps with some tweaking it could be improved.
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Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2008
I did not care for this recipe. The addition of yogurt was totally unnecessary and would have been much better w/out it.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Schaumburg, Illinois, USA

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Reviewed: Jul. 27, 2006
Not great. The sauce took forever to thicken and I actually added lots more yougurt to try to get it to thicken up. I don't think we will make this again.
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Cooking Level: Beginning

Home Town: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Living In: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2010
I had to drain the onion beef mixture, and I used one-less onion than specified. I won't make again.
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Photo by Rick Ratayczak

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Living In: North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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