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Chicken Koftas with Lime Pickle

Chicken Koftas with Lime Pickle
Yield:   24 or more appetizer-size balls
Cook Time:   8-10 minutes per batch (or about 5-7 minutes for appetizer-size balls)
Tips:   A mild version of lime pickle is recommended - hot lime pickle is very hot!
Suggestion:   Serve as a main course or make into smaller sizes and serve as appetizers (see recipe for details). Delicious served with lime pickle or any variety of sauces.
Chicken Koftas are meatballs made with a mixture of minced chicken, spices and herbs. The term "kofta" in many cultures means "meatball," and consists of minced or ground meat with spices and/or onions. This kofta recipe is an Indian version consisting of chicken breasts that are minced
together in a food processor with some Indian and other common spices and seasonings. The minced mixture is then formed into meatballs and fried in a modest amount of oil, then served with lime pickle.

This chicken kofta recipe can be served as a main course by forming into larger meatballs, or as appetizers by forming into smaller bite-size meatballs (see recipe for sizes). Photo above shows these koftas served with lime pickle, a condiment you can find at any Indian grocery store. Just like salsa, lime pickle can vary in degrees of spiciness - so make sure you pay close attention to the labels on the lime pickle jars and choose the spice level that is right for you. I recommend using a mild version of lime pickle. The hot version of lime pickle is very hot and only recommended for those who prefer intense heat in their spice. As an alternative, these chicken meatballs also taste great with salsa verde - or you might want to experiment with other sauces you enjoy.


  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-inch piece ginger root, minced
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • about 6 tablespoons oil for frying (or more if needed)
  • 1 jar lime pickle (for garnish)
  • lime wedges (for garnish)
Place chicken, garlic, ginger root, garam masala, ground turmeric, cilantro, bell pepper and salt in a food processor or blender and process until the mixture is finely chopped.

Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (may be formed into 1-inch balls for appetizers). Heat oil in a large skillet or wok and fry koftas in batches (place as many as will fit into the skillet or wok, leaving enough room to roll koftas around to cook on all sides) for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. (Note: Before removing first batch of cooked koftas from skillet, it is always a good idea to cut into one of the cooked koftas to ensure it has been cooked all the way through. If it is not completely cooked, return it to skillet and continue cooking koftas until thoroughly cooked.) Lift koftas from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. (Note: If you are making these koftas as appetizers, the smaller koftas will cook more quickly. Check to see if a kofta is cooked all the way through after about 5-7 minutes.)

To keep cooked koftas warm while frying remaining koftas, place on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil, then place in a 200-degree oven.

Serve koftas hot with lime pickle (or other sauce you prefer, such as salsa verde) and garnish with lime wedges.

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