Middle Eastern and South Asian meatballs

Kofta are a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in Middle Eastern, South Caucasian, South Asian, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisines. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced meat – usually beef, chicken, pork, lamb or mutton, or a mixture – mixed with spices and sometimes other ingredients. The earliest known recipes are found in early Arab cookbooks and call for ground lamb.

There are many national and regional variations. There are also vegetable and uncooked versions. Shapes vary and include balls, patties, and cylinders. Sizes typically vary from that of a golf ball to that of an orange.


In English, is a loanword borrowed from Urdu: کوفتہ, romanized: , lit. ’pounded meat’ which in turn is derived from Classical Persian , contemporarily .[1][2][3][4] The earliest extant use of the word in Urdu language is attested from the year 1665 in Mulla Nusrati‘s .[5][6] It was first used in English in in 1832,[7] and then by James Wise in 1883.[8] The languages of the region of the kofta’s origin have adopted the word with minor phonetic variations.[9] Similar foods are called in other languages croquettes, dumplings, meatballs, rissoles, and turnovers.[9][10]


The first appearance of recipes for kofta are in the earliest Arab cookbooks.[11][9] The earliest recipes are for large ground lamb meatballs triple-glazed in a mixture of saffron and egg yolk.[11] This glazing method spread to the West, where it is referred to as “gilding” or “endoring”.[9] Koftas moved to India; according to Alan Davidson nargisi kofta were served at the Moghul court.[9]

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Koftas are found from the Indian subcontinent through Central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and northern Africa.[9] Koftas are found in the traditional cuisines of Afghanistan,[12] Albania, Bulgaria,[9] Georgia,[13] Armenia,[12][13] Azerbaijan,[12][13] Greece,[9] India,[9][12][14] Morocco,[9] Pakistan,[15] Romania,[16] and Turkey.[12][17] In Turkey it is “a preferred offering at communal gatherings of all kinds”, according to Engin Akin.[17] In Armenia and Azerbaijan it is, along with dolma, lavash, harissa, kebabs, and pahlava, a dish of “clearly symbolic ethnic significance” often argued over by gastronationalists attempting to claim it as one of their own country’s traditional dishes that has been co-opted by the other country.[13] Kofta is a popular dish among Assyrian people.[18]


Generally meat is mixed with spices and often other ingredients such as rice, bulgur, vegetables, or eggs to form a paste.[9] They can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, baked, or marinated, and may be served with a rich spicy sauce or in a soup or stew.[9] Koftas are sometimes made from fish or vegetables rather than red meat.[19] Some versions are stuffed with nuts, cheese, or eggs.[9] Generally the size can vary from “size of an orange to the size of a golf ball”,[20] although some variants are outside that range; according to Margaret Shaida tabriz koftesi, which average 20 centimetres (8 in) in diameter, are the world’s largest dumplings.[9] They can be shaped in various forms[10] including patties, balls, or cylinders.[21] Some versions are uncooked.[11]

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Notable examples[edit]

See also[edit]


टेस्टी लौकी कोफ्ता बनाने की बहुत ही आसान रेसिपी| Lauki Kofta recipe in Hindi Dudhi Kofta recipe

Todays Special: टेस्टी लौकी कोफ्ता बनाने की बहुत ही आसान रेसिपी| Lauki Kofta recipe in Hindi Dudhi Kofta recipe
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