Kofta is a family of meatballs or meatloaf dishes found in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Central Asian cuisine. Koftas are generally made of lamb, beef, chicken or pork mince or the mixture of three with spice and/or onions
In India, vegetarian koftas are made of potato, paneer, kalabash and raw banana. Koftas in India are usually served cooked in a spicy gravy and are eaten with Jeera rice or khasta paratha.
Kofta curry being a rich dish is apt for festival or parties or any other special occasions.
For the Koftas :
8 small potatoes (boiled and mashed to get 1 1/2 cup mash)
100 gm Paneer (Grated finely to get 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbs Cornflour
Salt to taste
Oil for frying the koftas
For dusting the koftas :
All purpose flour….. As required
For the Gravy :
2 Medium size Onions
2 Medium size Tomatoes
3-4 Large Garlic cloves
1/2 inch Ginger
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Small Cardamoms
2 inch Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder …..to be adjusted
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp Corriander powder
3/4 tsp Cumin powder
3 tsp Sugar
2 tbs Cream (or Malai)
Salt to taste
Corriander leaves for garnishing
1. To begin making the Kofta curry, first steam or boil the potatoes. Cool and then peel the potatoes and grate them. At the same time soak the cashewnuts mentioned for the gravy in sufficient hot water for about half an hour.
2. Grate the paneer finely.
3. Chop the dry fruits finely for stuffing in the koftas. Reserve the remaining after stuffing, for garnishing.
4. Add all the mentioned ingredients for the koftas (except the dry fruits) in a mixing bowl and knead softly to get a soft dough.
5. Roll into small balls and stuff each kofta with 1/4 tsp chopped dry fruits.
6. Roll each kofta in all purpose flour to coat each ball well with the flour.
7. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the koftas in hot oil till golden in colour. Other option is to make the koftas in a paniyaram pan.
8. Drain the koftas on an absorbent paper to discard the extra oil.
9. In the meantime while making the koftas, heat the oil in a saucepan and add the whole spices. As soon as they splutter add the cubed onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute till onions turn translucent.
10. Grind the ginger garlic into a paste and add to the onions. Add the cubed tomatoes at the same time. Saute for a few minutes.
11. Add the dry spice powders and mix well. Now add 1/2 cup water to the entire mixture and cook covered. When the mixture turns pulpy, switch off the heat and let it cool. Grind it to a smooth paste.
12. Add the ground paste in another saucepan and add sugar and salt to taste. Grind the soaked cashewnuts to a fine paste and add to the gravy and mix well.
13. Add water as required to bring the gravy to a medium thick consistency and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
14. At the end when the gravy is ready, add the cream and mix well. Switch off the flame immediately.
15. Arrange the koftas in a serving bowl and pour the prepared gravy over them. Serve hot garnished with fresh cream, chopped fresh coriander and the reserved chopped dry fruits.
Delicious and subtle kofta curry to be relished with khasta parathas or jeera rice. To make it healthier sweet potatoes can be used in koftas instead of plain potatoes. Again blanched and coarsely ground vegetables like carrots, french beans and green peas can be added to the koftas. Againto avoid use of cream, some milk can be added to adjust consistency of gravy instead of only water. The choice is endless!