In South Asian cuisine, Koftas or meat balls came with Persian invasions. Here Koftas are mostly cooked in a spicy curry, the dry version is called kebabs.

Nargisi Koftas are considered a speciality of Moghul cuisine, as the name suggests they are fit for any royal banquet.

The name ‘nargis’ is Persian for the Narcissus flower, which in classical Persian literature is a symbol of beautiful eyes.

The colours of this very unique meat ball remind one of nargis flower, whereas the shape is that of an eye.

It is also said that the British Scotch Eggs may have been inspired by this Moghul delicacy where eggs are encased in a layer of spicy meat.

For Nargisi Koftay, Narcissus Meatballs Curry :

1/2 kg chicken mince
1/2 cup yellow gram lentils/chana daal
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 hard boiled eggs
1 egg, beaten
Oil for deep frying

For Curry :

2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
4 tomatoes
1 cup yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Fresh coriander for garnishing

This Is What You Do :

Add chicken mince, chana daal, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt to a deep pan.
Fill the pan up to half with water. Cook covered on medium heat, till all the water is evaporated and mince and lentils are completely cooked.
Keep the pan uncovered and keep stirring the last few minutes so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
Let it cool down completely.
Add to a food processor till it resembles stiff dough.
If its to hard to mould, add a few drops water at a time and mix.
Remove the shell from eggs, wrap eggs completely in a thick cost of this mince and lentil dough, brush with egg.
Heat oil for deep frying on medium heat. Fry the egg meatballs for 2-3 minutes or till golden brown on all sides.
Remove from oil and set aside.

For curry, heat oil in a pan, add onions. Fry till golden brown, not dark brown.
Remove from oil, add fried onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt to the blender and make masala paste.
Add the paste back to the oil in pan, cook on medium heat for a few minutes or till the sauce changes colour. Beat the yogurt smooth, add to the masala and keep stirring till it becomes one with masala and oil separates from the curry.
Add 3 cups water, cover the pan, reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
If the curry gets too thick, add a little more water.
To serve, pour the curry in a deep serving dish, cut the egg meatballs lengthwise into two, place them in curry. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with rice or roti bread.

Makes 4 servings

7 Replies to “Nargisi Koftay , Narcissus Meatballs Curry”

  1. Salaam. This is the third dish that I made for my party. I doubled the recipe. Everything turned out fine until the very end. I heated up the masaala, cut the kofta in half, and gently put them in the masaala. About 15 20 minutes later when I went to serve, found that all the meat had fallen off the eggs and had mixed into the masaala. How do I prevent this from happening again? One of my guests recommended that I cook down the masaala and make keema chawal with it so the masaala wouldn’t get wasted.

    1. Oh dear! Looks like you missed the very last part of instructions. I’m copy pasting it again here for you.
      “To serve, pour the curry in a deep serving dish, cut the egg meatballs lengthwise into two, place them in curry.” This means you don’t put the koftas in the simmering curry. You pour the curry in the serving bowl and place koftas in it. Then garnish and serve immediately.
      Next time, my dear Anjum, don’t leave koftas to simmer with Masala and all will be well. If you need to heat them up, just warm for a few seconds in microwave. Usually there is no need for that either because hot Masala in the serving dish warms them up just fine.
      15-20 minutes is too long a time in cooking liquid. It’s like leaving shami kebabs in simmering shorba because the covering is made with the same stuff as shami kebabs.
      Your guests suggestion sounds good.

      Don’t worry, there is a first time for everything. Better luck next time. 😊💐

  2. Did you take all these pictures yourself? Did you go the extent of cooking these dishes? Sorry I’ve just been drooling at these pics for almost 1 hour now.

    It should be a crime to have a blog such as yours (lol).

    1. Hahaha! 😄😂 Yes, Subodh, I did cook all these recipes and took all these pictures (though looking back I sometimes find it hard to believe that myself 😂).
      Most people wouldn’t believe how much work is food blogging behind the scenes. From cooking to writing to photo shoot and then publicizing on social media platforms. Only and only very passionate people survive because mostly the response and monetary return does not match the effort.
      I don’t monetize my blog. For me it’s fun – I’ve made so many friends around the world through this hobby and learnt a lot about world cuisine and cultures. 😊
      Thank you sooooo much for visiting my virtual home and taking time to leave such wonderful comments and so many of them! I really enjoyed reading. 😊

      1. A lot of celebrity chefs are really overrated. Obsession with money can ruin not only ruin your passion for cooking well, but also the quality of dishes. I’m not saying that one should not try to monetize their cooking skills but a blind obsession for money ruins authenticity.

        For example, Sanjeev Kapoor used to be fantastic in the 90s but nowadays he thinks of only making more money. Most dishes in his latest cookbook are only weird experiments with lots of faltu ingredients that aren’t concerned with the original recipes.

        I have eaten at the restaurants of both Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. Overpriced, undercooked/overcooked, and snobbish chefs/waiters who serve you their huge EGO instead of proper food. The whole Michelin concept is bullshit Westernization.

        1. I can understand what you mean! Creativity cannot be churned out in bulk to cater to popular demand. Sanjeev Kapoor and many other star chefs used to be my inspiration in early days of cooking. I enjoy experimenting with fusion flavours too but fusion should bring out the best from two cuisine cultures and blend it in a way that doesn’t compromise taste. Writing recipes just to sell cookbook after cookbook or stay in social media, finally dulls the inspiration. I’ve even noticed that these popular chefs don’t share recipes in complete honesty. Either they purposely omit a key ingredient or give a false idea of measurements. There is really nothing like home cooked!,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *