Healthy Vegetarian Koftas for the Perfect Meatless Meal

Are you looking for something delicious and hearty that’s also plant-based? Well, look no further! I’m excited to share my vegetarian kofta recipe with you. Koftas are flavorful balls of goodness that are typically made with meat, but I’ve created a version that’s completely vegetarian-friendly. These koftas have a satisfying texture thanks to the use of bulgur wheat and adzuki beans, and are infused with aromatic spices like ground cumin and coriander.

Not only are these koftas delicious on their own, they’re also versatile enough to be used in many different ways. You can toss them in a flavorful curry or serve them up with a side of rice or veggies. They even make great appetizers for entertaining guests!

This recipe is perfect for anyone looking for a filling and flavorful vegetarian meal option. Even if you’re not a dedicated vegetarian or vegan, you’ll love the taste and texture of these koftas. Trust me, your taste buds won’t miss the meat at all! So, let’s dive in and make some mouth-watering veggie koftas together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Koftas
Vegetarian Koftas

Are you looking for a nutritious and flavorful meal that satisfies your hunger pangs? Look no further than this vegetarian kofta recipe! This recipe is perfect for vegetarians and vegans who want a plant-based alternative to traditional meatballs.

This kofta recipe features adzuki beans and bulgur wheat, which are packed with protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. The rich blend of spices, like ground coriander and cumin, adds depth and complexity to the dish while exciting your taste buds. This hearty vegetarian kofta curry has an edge over the traditional malai kofta (made with potatoes and paneer), as it uses adzuki beans instead of fat-laden cheese.

Not only is this recipe healthy and delicious, but it’s also easy to make. You don’t have to be a professional chef to whip up these veggie kofta balls. All you need is a food processor, a few basic ingredients from your pantry, and 30 minutes to spare.

Plus, if you’re hosting a dinner party or attending a potluck event, this vegetarian kofta recipe will be the talk of the night! You’ll enjoy the culinary spotlight as guests ask for seconds and rave about its luscious flavor.

In conclusion, whether you’re new to plant-based cooking or are looking to add some variety in your regular meal rotation, this vegetarian kofta recipe will not disappoint. Give it a try – we guarantee you’ll love it!

Ingredient List

 Rolling these vegetarian koftas was easier than I thought!
Rolling these vegetarian koftas was easier than I thought!

Before starting to make our vegetarian koftas, it’s important to have all the necessary ingredients ready. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the kofta balls:

  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 1 can of adzuki beans (15 oz)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Olive oil (for frying)

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 1 can of vegetable broth (14 oz.)
  • ¼ cup of vegan heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Pinch of turmeric and paprika

With these ingredients in hand and ready to go, we can move on to the recipe how-to and create some delicious vegetarian koftas!

The Recipe How-To

 My kitchen smelled amazing with these frying in the pan.
My kitchen smelled amazing with these frying in the pan.

Let’s get cooking! Here are the step-by-step instructions for making vegetarian koftas that will surely please your taste buds.


  • ½ cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 can of adzuki beans (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • ½ large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (for frying)


  1. In a large bowl, soak the bulgur wheat in boiling water for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess water using a fine mesh sieve.

  2. Put the soaked bulgur wheat, adzuki beans, onion, garlic, cilantro, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Pulse until the mixture is well combined but still has some texture.

  3. Using damp hands, form the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls or oblong shapes.

  4. In a large pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add few kofta at a time and fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

  5. Transfer onto a paper towel-lined dish to remove any excess oil.

  6. Garnish the veg kofta with additional fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy your delicious homemade veg kofta!

Serves: 4 people

Substitutions and Variations

 These koftas are the perfect appetizer for any party.
These koftas are the perfect appetizer for any party.

The best part about cooking is that you can always put your own spin on things. This vegetarian kofta recipe is no different. Here are some ideas to mix things up and add some variety to your dish.

– Change up the beans: Instead of adzuki beans, try black beans or even mung beans for a different flavor and texture.

– Play with the spices: If you prefer a milder taste, dial back on the amount of ground cumin and coriander. If you want to kick it up a notch, add more pepper or even some red pepper flakes.

– Swap out the herbs: Don’t have cilantro on hand? Try using parsley or even mint instead.

– Add some veggies: To make this dish even more nutritious, chop up some vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini and mix them into the kofta mixture before shaping into balls.

– Make it gluten-free: Rather than using bulgur wheat, substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs or even rice flour for the binding agent in this recipe.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what variations work best for you. Remember, cooking should be fun and creative!

Serving and Pairing

 Try making these koftas with different spices for a unique flavor every time.
Try making these koftas with different spices for a unique flavor every time.

Now that you’ve successfully prepared your vegetarian koftas, it’s time to savor them! These protein-packed kofta balls are the perfect addition to any meal. So, here are some suggestions for serving and pairing.

If you want to keep it simple, serve the koftas with basmati rice or naan bread. The mild flavor of basmati rice pairs well with the earthy flavor of the adzuki beans while naan bread absorbs the delicious creamy sauce of the kofta curry.

If you’re feeling creative, why not turn your veg kofta curry into a filling sandwich? Pile cooked koftas on top of toasted sourdough bread, add a dollop of Greek yogurt or vegan mayonnaise, and top with fresh vegetables like lettuce or cucumber.

For a restaurant-style experience, serve your vegetable kofta curry with a side of vegetable broth or soup. This would add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your meal.

To give your vegan malai kofta an upgrade, pair it with black beans and sweet potatoes. The sweet and spicy combination will surely delight your palate.

When it comes to drinks, vegetable juice or iced tea would be perfect as they complement the flavors of the spices used in making these delicious vegetarian koftas.

Overall, these versatile vegetarian kofte kebabs can be paired with many different foods and beverages- just let your imagination run wild!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 I could eat these koftas all day, every day.
I could eat these koftas all day, every day.

We all have busy schedules, and with busy schedules come moments we can’t always dedicate to cooking. Luckily, the vegetarian koftas recipe is perfect for make-ahead meals, storing, and reheating.

When storing leftover koftas, it’s best to do so in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last up to four days without sacrificing their flavor or quality. If you’re looking to store them for longer periods of time, you can easily freeze them for two to three months.

Reheating your vegetarian koftas is simple! You can either reheat them on the stovetop or microwave them. To reheat on the stovetop, place a small amount of oil in a frying pan and heat the koftas over medium heat until they’re hot throughout. If you’re using a microwave to reheat them, place them on a microwave-safe dish and cook for one minute at a time until they’re hot throughout.

If you’re preparing these vegetarian koftas ahead of time for an event or dinner party, they can be made up to two days before and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. When it’s time to serve them, warm them up on the stovetop or oven until they’re hot throughout.

Making ahead and reheating these koftas won’t cause any loss in flavor or texture, making sure that every bite is just as delicious as when it was fresh out of the pan.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The texture of these vegetarian koftas is spot-on, even without meat.
The texture of these vegetarian koftas is spot-on, even without meat.

Cooking vegetarian koftas can be challenging, especially if you’re a novice in the kitchen. It’s important to know some tips that can help ensure you create perfect koftas every time. Here are some of my tips for perfect results when preparing this delicious vegan meal.

1. Ensure all the ingredients are ready before you start cooking

Just like with any other recipe, it’s important to have all your ingredients ready before getting started. This way, you won’t have to hurry to chop your vegetables, and everything will be easier to manage.

2. Don’t overhandle the mixture

The mixture for vegetarian koftas is quite sticky, and overhandling it can result in tough koftas. Try to handle it as little as possible and avoid compacting it too much when making the balls.

3. Refrigerate the mixture before forming into balls

Refrigerating the mixture will make it less sticky, firmer and easier to handle, and will also improve the texture of your finished product.

4. Choose a high smoke point oil for frying

When frying the kofta balls, choose an oil with a high smoke point like grapeseed or canola oil. These oils can withstand higher temperatures without burning or smoking, which ensures that your koftas don’t stick or burn.

5. Fry in small batches

Frying in smaller batches will help ensure that the koftas cook evenly, brown on all sides, and don’t stick together.

6. Avoid overcrowding the pan

Overcrowding the pan will lower its temperature and make your kofta balls cook unevenly. Cook them in two or three batches instead of cooking all at once.

7. Don’t skip the resting period

After cooking, allow the kofta balls to rest on paper towels to remove excess oil for five minutes or so. This resting period prevents them from feeling too oily while also allowing them to become slightly crispier on the outside.

By following these tips, you’ll achieve mouth-watering vegetarian koftas every time!


Now, it’s time for some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this vegetarian kofta recipe. I understand that cooking can bring up some uncertainties, but don’t worry. In this section, I’ll answer some of your most pressing queries and offer you some helpful tips to get the most out of this delicious recipe. So, let’s dive right in!

What are vegetarian kofta balls made of?

The recipe involves making flavorful meatballs known as kofta, which have roots in different regions ranging from the Balkans and the Middle East to South Asia. In this particular dish, the kofta is prepared using potatoes and paneer, which is a type of fresh farmer’s cheese. The name of the dish, Malai Kofta, signifies the addition of cream to enhance its richness.

What is vegan kofteh made of?

I have a fantastic meatless recipe that you will absolutely love! These vegan kofte kebabs are a delicious blend of spiced chickpeas rolled up on skewers with fresh summer veggies. As a perfect accompaniment, serve them with pita bread and hummus or vegan Tzatziki sauce. These kofte kebabs will give you a mouthwatering taste of Mediterranean cuisine. I must say, this recipe holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first I learned when I switched to a vegetarian diet.

What are koftas traditionally served with?

Kofta is a versatile dish that is enjoyed in various ways across different cultures. It can be served in a stew or sauce and is commonly paired with rice or flatbread. In India, kofta is often prepared in a curry sauce, while in Afghan and Middle Eastern cuisine, it is usually enjoyed kebab-style. Additionally, kofta is a prevalent ingredient in dishes such as kofte piyaz.

How do you stop kofta from breaking?

Before frying the koftas, ensure that the oil in the kadai/wok is sufficiently heated. This is crucial to prevent the koftas from breaking apart or sticking to the pan. Therefore, wait until the oil is hot enough before adding the koftas.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian kofta recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to add some spice and flavor to their life. With its combination of savory spices, fresh herbs, and healthy ingredients like adzuki beans and bulgur wheat, it’s a recipe you can feel good about serving to yourself and your loved ones.

Not only is it easy to make at home, but there are also countless substitutions and variations you can try to personalize the recipe to your tastes. Plus, with its versatility in serving and pairing options, you can enjoy this recipe as a main dish or as a tasty appetizer at any meal.

So whether you’re a seasoned vegan cook or just starting out on your plant-based journey, this vegetarian kofta recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and get cooking – your taste buds will thank you!

Vegetarian Koftas

Vegetarian Koftas Recipe

Koftas are usually made with meat, but this is a fun variation with bean and wheat, served with Tabouleh. I have had bad luck making "kabobs" out of the mixture as the recipe calls to do, and usually just end up grilling the kofta balls without putting them on skewers. Still tastes good! Note: I buy the adzuki beans canned, which eliminates step 1.
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Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Calories 432.8 kcal


  • 6 ounces adzuki beans
  • 1 1/3 cups bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4-1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Cook the adzuki beans in boiling water for 40 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse. Let cool.
  • Cook the bulgur wheat in the stock for 10 minutes until the stock is absorbed. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet to fry onion, garlic, and spices for 4-5 minutes.
  • In a boil, mix onion, beans, cilantro, seasoning, and eggs and mash with a potato masher. Add the bread crumbs and bulgur wheat and stir well. Cover and chill for 1 hour, until firm.
  • With wet hands mold the kofta mixture into 32 oval shapes.
  • Press onto skewers, then brush with oil and broil for 5-6 minutes until golden. Turn, and brush with oil and broil again. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Tabbouleh (see other recipe) black olives, and pita bread.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 202gCalories: 432.8kcalCarbohydrates: 56.8gProtein: 18.3gFat: 15.5gSaturated Fat: 2.9gCholesterol: 158.6mgSodium: 499.2mgFiber: 9.8gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, African, Asian, Beans, Grains, Kosher, Middle Eastern
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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