Nargisi Kofta

Nargisi Kofta
Mughlai Cuisine

Nargisi Kofta

Nargisi Kofta is a dish of ground meat mixture wrapped around a hard boiled egg and cooked in rich spicy saucy gravy. It is a variation of the Persian kofta brought to India by the Mughal emperors.

This dish has an interesting and disputed history.

If you were to visit India, in the 17th century, locals may tell you their very own Nargisi Kofta was the inspiration for the Scotch Egg. A concept brought to the UK by returning British soldiers. However, if you ask anyone in the UK they would tell you the Nargisi Kofta is a version of the Scotch Egg introduced to India during the British Raj.

Food historian Annie Gray says: “I think you can pin down the Scotch egg’s introduction to Britain of the late 17th or early 18th century, and I suspect it came from India. Its forebear may well have been the nargisi kofta or ‘narcissus kofta’ — named after the flower’s white-and-yellow petals — which came to India from Persia with the Mughal emperors. The Mughals influenced two major regions with their cuisine — Awadh and Hyderabad — the egg is generally wrapped inside meat mince and fried, then served in a brown, yogurt-based gravy.”

It is debatable whether Scotch eggs were created when the British came to India and saw the Mughal dish, or if the Mughals gave Scotch eggs an Indian twist. But regardless of who holds the greatest claim to its origins, the Nargisi Kofta is a delicious and unique dish.

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