4.2/5 rating (10 votes)

Rista Meatballs

Kashmiri Kofta

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 50 mins
Rista Meatballs

Meat balls cooked with Kashmiri spices in a delicate sauce

Hari says

Everyone loves meatballs right? Usually, meatballs like this are called kofta but this is the Kashmiri version using fennel, ginger and asafoetida and they are known as Rista. The meatballs are chunky but have a really delicate flavour and the sauce is made very much in the Kashmiri style of cooking and is a thin liquidy consistency. 

My kids love anything to do with meatballs so this goes down really well in my house.

  • Ingredients
  • Method

Rista Meatballs

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 4 green cardamom, ground
  • 3 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mustard oil


  • 1 tsp mustard oil (if needed)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 7cm stick of cassia bark
  • 1 tsp asafoetida, mixed into a little water to dissolve 
  • 1 tsp saffron, crushed and soaked in 200ml water
  • salt to taste
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri garam masala


Rista Meatballs

  1. Add cardamom and fennel seeds and blend to a powder.
  2. Put the minced lamb in a bowl and add this powder along with the ginger and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine everything.
  3. Make the spiced minced lamb into round balls about 3 inches diameter - you should get about 12-15.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the balls until they are brown all over then set to one side.


  1. In the same frying pan heat the oil and add the bay leaves, cloves and cassia and fry for a few minutes.
  2. Add a little salt, asafoetida water and red chilli powder and fry until it all turns a lovely red colour.
  3. Pour in about 300ml of water and the saffron water and bring to the boil.
  4. While the sauce is boiling add meat balls and leave this to gently simmer away for up to an hour.
  5. Stir in the Kashmiri garam masala to serve.

This goes well with

You may also like to try

Share this

“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Rista Meatballs ”


Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.

By providing your email address you are allowing Hari Ghotra LTD to send you email communications in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

“ Don’t forget you can stay up-to-date with all my latest recipes by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Google and Pinterest or by subscribing to my YouTube channel ”
Hari Ghotra