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Kofta, Grilled Vegan “Meatballs”

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How many times have you been to a barbecue and been severely disappointed by the selection of store bought burgers and hot dogs with a bare minimum of condiments?  It happens to me all the time.

Grilled Vegan Meatballs (kofta)

Since it’s 4th of July week, I’ve been thinking about barbecuing all week.  Even though I love grilled vegetables, I wanted to grill something with protein.  Store bought veggie burgers and soy hot dogs were not an option.  They always taste bland to me.

Vegan meatballs sounded good. I looked up several recipes on the internet.  I didn’t find anything with the ingredients I had on hand and the flavors I was craving.  So, I decided to stick to what I know, lentils and rice, and make up my own recipe in the style of a kofta.

I think they came out great.  Let me know what you think!

Grilled Vegan Meatballs (kofta)
Grilled Vegan Meatballs

Grilled Vegan “Meatballs” (Kofta)

Vegan meatballs inspired by Indian kofta
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 317 kcal


  • ½ cup red lentils masoor dal
  • ¼ cup mung dal – Just use 3/4 cup red lentils if you don’t have any mung dal
  • ¼ cup rice
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves grated on a microplane or finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
  • ¼ medium sized onion grated or finely minced
  • ½ jalapeno chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower steamed or boiled
  • 2 small carrots steamed or boiled
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup roughly ground nuts – walnuts cashews, peanuts…anything goes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Bring 2 1/4 cups of water to boil and add the lentils and rice. Return to boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  • Squeeze as much water out of the cooked cauliflower and carrots as possible and toss into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add all the other ingredients and the rice and lentil mix.
  • Mix well.
  • Form into little “meatballs”. I used a 1/8 cup measure so that they would all be the same size, you can eyeball it if you prefer.
  • Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • These can be grilled, sauteed or baked.
  • Serve lined into a hot dog bun with cilantro chutney and pickled onions. Or just plain with ketchup.

To Grill:

  • Preheat grill. Brush with oil to prevent sticking.
  • Cook “meatballs” with the top closed on medium heat for 10-15 minutes turning mid way.

To Bake:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bake on a greased baking sheet for about 20 minutes.  Until golden brown.

To Sautee:

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil on a nonstick pan.
  • Sautee meatballs on medium high heat for about 10-12 minutes, until evenly golden brown on the out


Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 16gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 489mgPotassium: 652mgFiber: 13gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5459IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 4mg
Keyword vegetarian meatballs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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