Health & Lifestyle

The Nargisi Kofta: A Culinary Puzzle Ensconced In An Egg (Recipe Inside)

The First Encounter: It was 2014, maybe the month of March. At Southern Kolkata’s Oudh:1590, my afternoon lunch scene regarded delectable with galauti kebabs and biryani, however the marauding gaze of mine rested upon a dish, but undiscovered, and stayed there for just a few seconds greater than it ought to have. A temporary chat with the server additional piqued my curiosity. “It’s an egg coated in minced meat, then fried, then we put it in a Korma-style gravy”.   

“Sounds like a Dimer Devil curry,” my companion had sniggered below his breath, however by then it was too late for me. Therefore, the Nargisi Kofta was duly ordered and consumed, and curiosity in its origin story grew exponentially over the subsequent few years. It was discovered within the weekly menu of one other Mughlai restaurant, Royal Indian Restaurant, a restaurant in Kolkata that served Lucknow-style food, and so ingrained was its roots to the ‘City of Nawabs’ that until very lately, the potato was not added to the biryani for the longest time period, till one black day in 2017 once they launched the potato, and all was misplaced. However, Royal does serve Nargisi Kofta twice per week, as a part of their weekly altering menu, and although the kofta itself is kind of the identical, the gravy it’s served in is reasonably soupy, like a Qaliya.  

Also Read: 7 Best Kofta Recipes | Easy Kofta Recipes To Prepare At Home

Royal Indian Restaurant (in Kolkata) serve Nargisi Kofta twice per week.

Curious to know extra, a question about the identical to Shiladitya Chaudhury, Director of Oudh:1590, revealed a reasonably attention-grabbing story. “I first encountered the Nargisi Kofta in a dawat at a friend’s home in Lucknow. The lady of the house had explained to me that the nargisi kofta was a delicacy not easily available in the restaurants of Lucknow, but is a popular and rather impressive dish that contains egg and minced meat. When I was conceptualizing Oudh:1590 I had to keep it in the menu to commemorate that unforgettable meal.”  

In present-day Lucknow, the Nargisi Kofta stays lacking from restaurant menus, however dwelling cooks and experiential kitchen homeowners are including it to their menus. Sheeba Iqbal Jairajpuri, the proprietor of Aab o Dana, organises pop-up dinners and lunches for small teams at her heritage 119-year-old home. The intensive menus deliberate by her typically consists of the Nargisi Kofta. “I make Nargisi Kofta by ensconcing boiled eggs with minced meat. Then, I fry it briefly, and then I put it in gravy. My mother-in-law would always make a qaliya gravy for it, with onion, ginger and garlic, but my children prefer a qorma gravy for it, with nuts and yogurt in it. Since this dish has a good bit of gravy, I like offsetting it with a dry meat dish and it is a big hit with my clients and family both.” 

Inspired by the “nargis” or narcissus flower, the nargisi kofta falls below the generic label of kofta which has its roots within the Arab world, however the attention-grabbing half is its progress into the West. Though Fortnum & Mason, a division retailer in London, claims to make the scotch eggs in 1738 for travellers to hold with them of their lengthy carriage rides, it may be assumed that this ‘discovery’ was a results of returning officers from India who might have launched the generic concept of the dish after their stint within the nation.

Also Read: How To Make Restaurant-Style Malai Kofta At Home


In present-day Lucknow, the Nargisi Kofta stays lacking from restaurant menus.

However, what Scotch eggs did was reasonably attention-grabbing – it returned to India, extra particularly, to Bengal, with the British, and have become what we all know as we speak because the Dimer Devil, or what Bengal thought-about to be an Egg Devil. Now, fairly in contrast to the devilled eggs, which is a chilly canapé, the Egg Devil was an entire egg coated with minced meat, crumbed and deep-fried. The Egg Devil at Dilkhusha Cabin in College Street was a reasonably tempting affair for younger school goers and office-goers alike, and a cup of tea with a few them languishing on the plate could be a wealthy night repast for a lot of. It is alleged that this was a recipe that was imported to Kolkata by the British who would serve it of their golf equipment, and it gained recognition by bringing collectively two perennial favourites – meat and egg – collectively.  

Nargisi Kofta is finest made with duck eggs. The wealthy golden hue of the duck egg offsets the mutton very effectively, and it’s suggested to make a effective mince with 80% meat and 20% caul fats for the kofta.  

How To Make Nargisi Kofta | Nargisi Kofta Recipe


Nargisi Kofta Recipe


For the Kofta: 

  • 6 duck eggs, boiled for 8 minutes, then shortly put in ice water to cease the cooking course of 
  • 600 gram finely minced mutton  
  • 150 gram finely minced mutton caul fats  
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste  
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste  
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder  
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder  
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder  
  • 1/4th teaspoon pink chilli powder  
  • 1 tablespoon roasted gram flour (besan) 
  • Salt to style  
  • Oil to fry  

For the Gravy 

  • 1 cup minced onion  
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • 1/2 cup ghee or vegetable oil  
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder  
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink chilli powder  
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder  
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder  
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder  
  • 1/4th cup yogurt, whisked  
  • Salt to style  
  • Coriander leaves to garnish 


  1. Mix the minced meat with salt, caul fats, all floor spices, ginger garlic paste, and mince it yet one more time. Let this relaxation for half an hour. Then add roasted gram flour.  
  2. Mix the yogurt with the masala powders and whisk them completely. Set apart. 
  3. Form 6 balls from the meat. Place a ball in your palm, flatten it, then place an egg on it. Carefully form the mince to coat the egg utterly after which put the coated meatball in a flat tray. Do this with the remaining eggs, then put the tray within the fridge for 30-40 minutes for the meatballs to agency up. Heat sufficient oil to fry the kofta, then put the kofta very gently within the scorching oil, fry for 3-5 minutes either side, or till the meatballs are fried on the surface. Be very light, as a result of the meatballs might disintegrate in case you’re not cautious.  
  4. For the gravy, warmth oil or ghee in a pan and add the ginger-garlic first and sauté for a minute. Then, add the onion and stir fry until the onions are mild brown. Remove the pan from warmth, add the yogurt, stir fry briskly to make sure the yogurt would not get curdled. Then return the pan to simmering warmth, prepare dinner until oil begins separating from the combination. At this level, add 2-2.5 cups scorching water, stir that in, add the meatballs, cowl and prepare dinner the meatballs for 20-Half-hour over simmering warmth. Check the meatballs each 3-4 minutes, however guarantee to not stir them an excessive amount of, as a result of they could break in any other case. When the gravy thickens and the meatballs are cooked by way of, modify salt, verify gravy (you possibly can hold it as runny or dry it up), and garnish with some coriander leaves earlier than serving.  

About Poorna BanerjeePoorna Banerjee is a meals author, restaurant critic and social media strategist and runs a weblog Presented by P for the final ten years the place she writes concerning the meals she eats and cooks, the locations she visits, and the issues she finds of curiosity. She is deeply focused on culinary anthropology, and meals historical past and loves books, music, travelling, and a glass of wine, in that order.

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