Kele ka Kofta

Kele ka Kofta: A Fusion of Sweet and Savory


Kele ka Kofta, also known as Banana Kofta, is a distinctive and delectable Indian dish that harmoniously blends the sweetness of ripe bananas with rich, spiced gravy. This vegetarian delicacy offers a unique contrast of flavors and textures, making it a delightful addition to any Indian cuisine enthusiast’s repertoire.

The dish consists of two main components: the koftas (banana fritters) and the gravy. The koftas are prepared by mashing ripe bananas into a smooth consistency and mixing them with besan (gram flour), red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. This results in a thick batter that is then spooned into hot oil and fried to a crispy, golden-brown perfection. The banana koftas emerge with a delicate sweetness and a satisfying crunch.

The accompanying gravy, which coats the koftas and infuses them with flavor, is a medley of aromatic spices and ingredients. Onions are sautéed until translucent, and then ginger-garlic paste is added to lend depth to the base. Tomato puree provides a tangy undertone, while spices like turmeric, red chili powder, and coriander powder infuse the gravy with a warm, complex flavor profile. Garam masala adds a final touch of aromatic intensity.

The fried banana koftas are gently placed into the simmering gravy just before serving. This allows them to absorb the flavors of the rich sauce while maintaining their unique texture. The dish is often garnished with freshly chopped cilantro, adding a burst of freshness and color.

Kele ka Kofta is commonly enjoyed with a variety of Indian breads such as roti or naan, as well as rice. Its ability to blend the sweetness of bananas with the savory spices of Indian cuisine makes it an intriguing and unforgettable culinary experience, perfect for those seeking to explore the diverse range of flavors that Indian cooking has to offer.

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Kele ka Kofta:

Kele ka Kofta

Kele ka Kofta, also known as Banana Kofta, is a unique Indian dish made with ripe bananas that are mashed and mixed with besan (gram flour) and spices. These banana fritters are fried until crispy and served in a flavorful gravy.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


For the Koftas:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Oil for frying

For the Gravy:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing


For the Koftas:

  1. Mash the ripe bananas in a bowl until they are smooth and lump-free.
  2. Add the besan, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt to the mashed bananas. Mix well to form a thick batter.
  3. Heat oil in a pan for frying.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the banana batter into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove them using a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

For the Gravy:

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
  4. Add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cook the masala until the oil starts to separate from it.
  5. Add water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add garam masala and mix well.

To Serve:

  1. Just before serving, add the fried banana koftas to the gravy.
  2. Simmer for a couple of minutes, allowing the koftas to absorb the flavors of the gravy.
  3. Garnish with chopped cilantro.


  • Select ripe bananas that are slightly soft to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Ripe bananas will provide the desired sweetness to the koftas.
  • Ensure that the banana batter is not too thin or too thick. It should have a dropping consistency, similar to a thick pancake batter. Adjust the amount of besan accordingly.
  • Heat the oil for frying over medium heat. If the oil is too hot, the koftas might brown quickly on the outside but remain undercooked inside. If it's not hot enough, the koftas can become soggy and absorb excess oil.
  • Before frying all the koftas, do a test fry with a small amount of batter to check if the oil temperature is appropriate and if the koftas hold their shape while frying.
  • After frying the koftas, place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil and retain their crispiness.
  • Adjust the gravy's consistency by adding water gradually. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but still have a pourable consistency.
  • Feel free to adjust the number of spices to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer milder flavors, reduce the amount of red chili powder or omit it altogether.
  • Add garam masala towards the end of cooking to preserve its aromatic flavors. You can also use homemade garam masala for a more personalized touch.
  • Add the fried koftas to the gravy just before serving to maintain their crispiness. Let them simmer for a short time so they absorb the flavors without becoming too soft.
  • Freshly chopped cilantro adds a burst of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal.
  • Kele ka Kofta pairs well with various Indian breads like roti, naan, or paratha. It can also be served with steamed rice for a hearty meal.
  • Don't hesitate to experiment with additional ingredients such as grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or chopped nuts to enhance the texture and flavor of the koftas.

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

One Serving of Kele ka Kofta:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250-300Total Fat: 14-18gSodium: 500-700mgCarbohydrates: 30-35gFiber: 4-6gProtein: 4-6g


  • Instead of making plain banana koftas, consider stuffing them with a mixture of spiced paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or dry fruits like raisins and chopped nuts. This adds a delightful surprise to each bite.
  • Instead of the traditional tomato-based gravy, you can make a creamy coconut milk-based gravy. This variation introduces a rich and mildly sweet flavor that complements the banana koftas well.
  • Incorporate finely chopped spinach or other greens into the banana batter before frying. This not only adds color but also introduces an earthy flavor and extra nutrients.
  • Add a tangy element to the dish by including tamarind pulp or amchur (dry mango powder) to the gravy. This balances the sweetness of the bananas and creates a unique flavor profile.
  • Prepare a nut-based gravy using cashews or almonds. Blend soaked nuts with water to create a creamy base for the gravy. This adds richness and depth to the dish.
  • Incorporate fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, or even curry leaves into the banana batter for a burst of fresh flavor in the koftas.
  • Experiment with different spices to create unique flavor profiles. For instance, you could add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom powder to the banana batter for a touch of warmth and aroma.
  • Explore regional variations by adding ingredients commonly used in different parts of India. For instance, mustard seeds and curry leaves for a South Indian touch, or kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for a North Indian flavor.
  • Introduce a fruity element to the gravy by incorporating ingredients like ripe tomatoes, ripe mango pulp, or even a bit of pomegranate juice. This adds complexity and a hint of natural sweetness.
  • If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider baking the banana koftas instead of frying them. This reduces the oil content while maintaining the flavors.
  • Substitute besan (gram flour) with chickpea flour for a gluten-free version of the koftas.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve Kele ka Kofta with freshly made Indian bread such as roti, naan, or paratha. These breads are perfect for scooping up the flavorful gravy and enjoying it alongside the koftas.
  • Enjoy the koftas with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice (cumin-flavored rice). The rich gravy pairs wonderfully with rice, creating a comforting and hearty meal.
  • Kele ka Kofta can also be served as a side dish alongside a main course. It adds a unique twist to the meal and can be particularly appealing at gatherings or special occasions.
  • This dish can be a great addition to your festive or celebratory meals. Its uniqueness and vibrant flavors can make it a standout on the dining table.
  • Serve the koftas with traditional Indian accompaniments like raita (yogurt-based side dish), pickles, or chutneys. These condiments provide a burst of additional flavors and textures.
  • Pair the koftas with a refreshing salad made from diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and a sprinkle of chaat masala for added zest.
  • Garnish the dish with freshly chopped cilantro, chopped nuts, or even pomegranate seeds for an extra pop of color and texture.
  • Kele ka Kofta can be a wonderful addition to family gatherings or potluck events. Its unique taste is likely to spark conversations and impress your guests.
  • Include Kele ka Kofta in an Indian-themed dinner menu along with other classic Indian dishes for a complete culinary experience.
  • Get creative by incorporating Kele ka Kofta into fusion dishes. For example, use it as a filling for wraps or sandwiches, or as a topping for a pizza with an Indian twist.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are Kele ka Kofta?

A: Kele ka Kofta, also known as Banana Kofta, is a unique Indian dish made with ripe bananas that are mashed and mixed with besan (gram flour) and spices. These banana fritters are fried until crispy and served in a flavorful gravy.

Q: What kind of bananas should I use for Kele ka Kofta?

A: Ripe bananas with a slightly soft texture and sweet aroma are ideal for making Kele ka Kofta. The sweetness of the ripe bananas adds a unique flavor to the dish.

Q: Can I make the koftas ahead of time?

A: While it’s best to serve the koftas immediately after frying for the crispiest texture, you can prepare the batter and shape the koftas ahead of time. Keep them covered in the refrigerator and fry them just before serving.

Q: Can I bake the koftas instead of frying them?

A: Yes, you can bake the koftas in the oven to reduce the oil content. Preheat the oven to around 375°F (190°C) and place the shaped koftas on a greased baking sheet. Bake until they are golden brown and crispy, turning them halfway through.

Q: Can I freeze Kele ka Kofta?

A: It’s generally not recommended to freeze the cooked koftas in the gravy as they might become mushy when thawed. However, you can freeze the unfried banana koftas. Shape the koftas, place them on a tray, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Fry them directly from frozen when needed.

Q: Can I adjust the spices to make the dish milder or spicier?

A: Absolutely! The spice levels can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of red chili powder. For more heat, increase the chili powder or add chopped green chilies.

Q: What can I serve with Kele ka Kofta?

A: Kele ka Kofta can be served with Indian bread like roti, naan, or paratha, as well as with steamed rice. It’s also great as a side dish at gatherings or potlucks.

Q: Can I make the gravy ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the gravy ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When reheating, you might need to add a little water to adjust the consistency.

Q: Can I make Kele ka Kofta gluten-free?

A: Yes, you can make the dish gluten-free by using gluten-free flour instead of besan (gram flour) for the banana koftas.

Q: Can I use unripe bananas for this dish?

A: Unripe bananas have a different taste and texture, so they might not work well for Kele ka Kofta. Ripe bananas provide the desired sweetness and softness required for the koftas.

Kele ka Kofta

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