Kofta is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisine. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, lamb, or pork—mixed with spices and/or onions. In South Asia and the Middle East, koftas are usually made from lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, whereas Greek, Cypriot, and Balkan versions may use pork, beef, lamb, or mixture of the three. In India, vegetarian varieties include koftas made from potato, calabash, paneer, or banana. In Europe, kofta is often served as fast food sandwich in kebab shops.
Koftas in India are usually served cooked in a spicy curry/gravy and are eaten with boiled rice or a variety of Indian breads. In Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan, koftas are served with a spiced gravy, as dry variations are considered to be kebabs. Shrimp and fish koftas are found in South India, West Bengal, some parts of the Persian Gulf, and parts of Egypt.
The word kofta comes from Classical Persian kōfta (کوفته), meaning "rissole", from the verb kōftan (کوفتن), "to pound" or "to gri...