Laknavi Kofta Curry

October 1, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Laknavi Kofta Curry

Laknavi Kofta Curry is fried potato and greens dumplings in a rich creamy sauce that is made using yogurt, milk and cream. This delicious, flavourful, creamy curry is quite different from the usual tomato onion based sauces or curries. Laknavi refers to Lucknow. Though it is a city, here it refers to the type of cuisine. Awadhi is the actual cuisine name but since the present day city Lucknow was situated in Awadh, the cuisine is often referred to as Lucknowi or Laknavi.

Memories – A Tribute To Tarla Dalal

November 6th 2013, I was busy watching telly when I got a message from my friend informing me about the passing away of  Tarla Dalal. The rest of the evening I felt very sad and my heart was heavy. If there has been anyone else besides my mum, my mother in law Nunu and my aunt (who I lovely call kaki )who has influenced my cooking it is Tarla Dalal. When I was growing up there were no cookery shows on telly or recipes on the internet. We totally relied on cookery books and recipes handed down by family and friends.

My first cookery book was The Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking by Tarla Dalal. It was one of the first Indian cookery books available in Kenya. Over the years I not collected quite a few of Tarla Dalal’s books but have tried so many of her recipes and gained a lot of tips and knowledge from her.

Adventures In The Kitchen

My kaki and I would open up her books and select a recipe to try out on Saturdays in the afternoon after my mum has gone off to her room for a nap. A few dishes did land up in the bin as we may not have followed the recipe probably but majority received accolades from our huge family. Our first pizza, tacos, palak paneer, pasta, cookies, eggless cakes were all from a Tarla Dalal recipe. I remember trying to find green tomatoes for our Taco recipe, trying to roll out thin cannelonis without a pasta machine, making tonnes of vegetable stock, serving delicious drinks and desserts. As we explored the wide world of different cuisines, kaki and I followed the recipes word to word.

Over the years as I gained more experience, I have adapted a lot of her recipes to my methods and availability of ingredients. All her recipes are easy to follow and turn out well. I am so glad that Tarla Dalal shared her talent, knowledge and creativity with millions all over the world. I feel there probably are very few Indian homes that may not possess a Tarla Dalal book.

Laknavi Kofta Curry

So today’s post is dedicated to Tarla Dalal, one of the first cookery book writers and cookery show host of India. When I was looking through Tarla Dalal Cookery Books to cook a dish, what attracted me to this recipe was the different kind of sauce and also that the koftas were loaded with fresh spinach, fenugreek and coriander.

I never got the opportunity to meet her in person but her recipes through books, shows and now the modern world of computer will forever stay in our hearts and stomachs. I chose to make laknavi kofta curry from her book Party Cooking (page 114-115) as most of the ingredients are available readily throughout the year.

First Published on 11/11/2013. Republishing it on 01/10/2023

Sharing This Recipe With The Group Sunday Funday

When Camilla who blogs at Culinary Cam suggested the theme ‘Let’s Cook From A Book’ I almost skipped participating. The reason being that when I moved from Kenya to Canada in 2021, I had to give away almost all my cookery books. I have left a few which are still in a box in Kenya. So technically, I didn’t have any cookery books to refer to except for…. which my son gifted me. It is all about the food they tend to make at their restaurant in The Elementum, Bali. Most are meat and fish based and the few veggie ones I can’t prepare because I don’t get all the ingredients.
I was browsing through my blog when I came across this recipe. Perfect, I thought. I don’t need a cookery book to remake this as I wanted to share better photos and a video. Also, most of Tarla Dalal’s recipes are not available online. She may not be as popular with the younger generation but vegetarians still turn to her books and recipes for guidance.

Check Out Which Cookery Books Fellow Members Of Sunday Funday Used For This Theme


Cookery Books/ Chefs

Some of my favourite chefs/cookery books are Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Kunal Kapur, Yotam Ottolenghi to name a few.

Mexican Rice may be different from how it actually is made in Mexico but I first learned how to make it from Tarla Dalal’s book. And today I still make it the way she use to except that now I make homemade salsa to add to the rice.

I have Yotam Ottolenghi’s Alphonso Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad on my blog. Only change I made to this recipe is using apple mango instead of Alphonso.

My Homemade Garam Masala Recipeis almost the way Kunal Kapur makes it.

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Pistachio Fudge is a must make during Diwali.

When I got married, hubby gifted me a Bread Cookery Book, knowing my love for baking. Chelsea Buns/ Cinnamon Rolls was the first recipe I tried from that book. Since then, it was a popular request when the kids were with me. It has been ages since I’ve baked those.

I’d watched Jamie Oliver make Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry on one of his shows and got inspired to create my version of it.

Ingredients Required For Laknavi Kofta Curry

Potatoes – boiled, peeled and mashed.

Spinach – finely chopped, washed and dried on a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Fresh Fenugreek – pluck leaves and tender stems from the main stem. Chop. Wash and dry on a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Fresh Coriander – cilantro. Finely chopped, washed and dried on a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Plain Yogurt – thick and not sour.

Milk – dairy milk. Try and avoid using skimmed milk.

Fresh Cream – thick or half and half.

Chickpea Flour – besan, chana flour. Need for binding the kofta mixture. The amount required will depend on the quality of potatoes used and how soft the mixture is. I had to use 3 tbsp.

Onion – peel, chop and mince. Or you can grate them. I have used red onion. Can use any of your choice, red, white or yellow.

Green Chilli – minced or paste. Required for the kofta mixture and the gravy/sauce/curry.

Ginger – peeled and minced or paste. Need some for the kofta and also the sauce or gravy.

Garlic – peel and mince. Need it for the gravy/sauce/curry.

Garam Masala – use according to your taste. I use homemade Garam Masala. Ready made is easily available in most Indian Stores or Online.

Salt – required for both the kofta mixture and the gravy/sauce/curry.

Oil – any odourless oil. I like to use sunflower oil. Need some for stir frying the onion and also for deep frying the kofta.

Ghee – clarified butter. Easily available in all Indian Stores or online. If you don’t have any, use oil.

Cashew Nuts – need about 10-12. Helps to add flavour and thicken the curry.

Poppy Seeds – Preferably white. Omit is you don’t have any.

Melon Seeds – known as charmagaz seeds. If you don’t have any, replace them with sunflower seeds.

Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar. Need little for the gravy/sauce/curry.





Laknavi Kofta Curry is fried potato and greens dumplings in a rich creamy sauce that is made using yogurt, milk and cream. This delicious, flavourful, creamy curry is quite different from the usual tomato onion based sauces or curries. Laknavi refers to Lucknow.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6



  • 4 medium potatoes boiled and mashed approx 500g
  • ¾ cup spinach finely chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh coriander finely chopped
  • ½ cup fenugreek leaves finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup onion minced
  • 1 cup fresh plain yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee clarified butter
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 10 to 12 cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp melon or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • ½ - ¾ tsp salt


  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • oil for deep frying



  • Peel and mash the boiled potatoes.
  • Add rest of the ingredients for the koftas and mix well.
  • Grease your hands with oil.Take about a teaspoonful of the mixture and make them into oval shapes or round.
  • Heat the oil for frying over medium heat. When it is ready, fry the koftas till they appear light brown in colour. Keep them on the side till required.


  • Process the cashew nuts, poppy seeds and sunflower/melon seeds into a coarse powder.
  • Heat ghee and oil in a wide pan. When it is hot, add the onion paste and stir fry till it begins to turn slightly brown.
  • Make sure you cook it over low heat for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently. You don't want the gravy to taste of raw onion.
  • Add the garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the ginger and chilli paste. Mix well.
  • Add the turmeric powder and the cashew nut powder mixture.
  • Stir fry for a few seconds. Add salt.
  • Add the yogurt and milk. Keep stirring till the gravy begins to thicken.
  • Add the cream and let the gravy simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir is occasionally.
  • Add the koftas and garnish with chopped coriander before serving with naans, parathas, chappati or rice.


  • Don't leave the mixed kofta mixture. Make them immediately as the greens will turn it watery.
  • If the kofta mixture is too soft, add more flour.
  • To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a very tiny piece of the kofta into the oil. it should come up immediately.
  • If the koftas separate while frying, add a bit more flour.
  • Prepare the gravy and koftas in advance. Heat the gravy well before serving.
  • Add koftas just before serving.
  • Leftover gravy becomes very thick. Just add a little milk or water when heating it up.
  • Use oil instead of ghee or use both.
  • Make sure that the chopped spinach, fenugreek and coriander are not watery. Dry them on a kitchen towel.
Keyword laknavi kofta curry, lucknowi koft curry, lucknowi veg kofta curry

Pin For Later:

A Little Request:

If you do try this recipe then please either
add a comment below,
send a picture to my email
tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962




  • Priya Anandakumar

    November 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Kofta curry looks very delicious and beautifully made, I adore your collection of books awesome and it was really sad hearing the news about Tarla dalal…

  • Shreena

    November 15, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Thanks for posting. What sad news about Tarla Dalal….

  • Karen’s Kitchen Stories

    October 1, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    That sounds delicious. What a beautiful story about the cookbooks too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 1, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks Karen

  • Sneha Datar

    October 8, 2023 at 6:43 am

    That Looks so delicious!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks Sneha.

  • MPaula

    October 26, 2023 at 1:57 am

    I have used Tarla Dalal’s website for recipes. It must have been after she died and someone kept it going.
    I live in Canada and there is a town called Lucknow in the province where I live. I wonder if it could be related to the one in India.
    I’m happy to find your recipes. I became vegetarian before I learned to cook (and long before it was common in Canada). There was an Indian restaurant and I loved the food. The library had suitable books and they taught me to cook what I liked.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 26, 2023 at 3:46 pm

      I’m so glad to find another Tarla Dalal fan. Many of her traditional Indian recipes are good and spot on. Her website is managed by her son Sanjay Dalal. Unfortunately, in some parts of Canada especially the smaller towns vegetarian food is still rare. It is either non veg or fake meat vegan meals. So I tend to cook a lot at home with ingredients available. From what I know, Lucknow in Canada was named after the Lucknow in India. Lucknow is where the Indian Rebellion of 1857 took place between Indian freedom fighters and the East India Company army.Now am sure you will find many vegetarian recipes on my blog too.

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post

Example Colors