Our weeknight meals are very simple, something that can be made within half hour, and I can get dinner on the table for my hungry family! I do prep work on Sundays to get ready for the week, by cutting vegetables, keeping dough ready to make rotis, make a large quantity of roasted veggies like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, make a large quantity of farro/quinoa ready to go as well. Once in a while I do like to indulge and make a hearty meal that I can enjoy on a weeknight. I make enough to last us for 2 days since the entire family enjoys a good hearty, flavorful meal. Vegetable Kofta Curry is one such hearty meal.
My mom used to make Vegetable Kofta Curry and Paneer Kofta Curry all the time with triangle parathas! We would thoroughly enjoy when mom made these curries cause they had so many different spices, that all blended so well together. The kitchen would smell so fragrant while mom would be roasting all the spices. I would always be in the kitchen helping mom, ofcourse when I was not in school ;). It was one of my favorite things to do – help mom in the kitchen, or just be with her and watch her whirl around like a tornado getting meals prepared in no time! As a5-7 year old, I would hold her saree all the time while she was working in the kitchen, like a tail! The way mom would make the Vegetable Kofta Curry or for what matter any dish is, add a little bit of this, and then add a little bit of that with a pinch of her fingers. There was no recipe as such. She knew what to add to make it damn delicious! So I learn the same way. So when it came to writing the recipe, I had to actually measure it to see how much I was adding of each ingredient, at each step! Yes ! That is a tough process indeed!
Anyways, I had written this recipe many years ago, when I had first started my blog in 2007, which I never kept up. But I still have the old blog, and it has quite a few recipes in it. The Koftas or Balls are simply boiled vegetables, chickpea flour and spices, all mixed together, and formed into little balls. I like to add a cashew nut in each ball, to give it that element of surprise which is so fun! I shallow fry these balls to make them a deep golden brown color. I make this a day in advance. For the curry, you make a dry masala, with a lot of dried spices, and roasted cashew nuts. You have to dry roast the spices to get the best flavor out of them. It gives an amazing aroma, that is seriously intoxicating! Once you make the dry masala, you grind it to form a paste. You can do this a day ahead as well.
On the day of making the curry, it is simply sauteing the dry masala in ghee or clarified butter first, then adding onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaf and sauteeing. Then add in the tomatoes and tomato puree, and other dry spices like turmeric, garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves and making a wet paste. Add in the liquid, such as heavy cream or milk, or if you want to keep it vegan, you can simply add water or cashew milk. Let this mixture boil and blend well for about 10 minutes. Then add in the koftas and garnish with lots of cilantro!
I love eating these with the triangle parathas or rotis. It is a decadent meal, but so filling, flavorful and healthy(without the heavy cream). You have to make a big enough portion to let it last for 2 days :).
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post below.
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe! It is seriously mouth watering and keeps you wanting for more! Enjoy the longer days and wonderful springy weather! 🙂
- For the Kofta:
- (Makes about 20 kofta balls)
- 3 medium sized potatoes peeled
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots and green beans, green bell peppers and peas
- 2 tbsp besan(gram flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
- 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
- 2 freshly ground green chillies
- 1/2 tsp amchur powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt to taste
- About 15-20 whole cashews to hide inside each kofta or ball
- Vegetable Oil to fry
- For the ground masala:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 4-5 whole black peppercorns
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 3-4 cardamom pods crushed slightly
- 1/4 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
- For the curry:
- 2-3 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 finely chopped small onion
- 1 tbsp freshly ground garlic and ginger paste
- 1 finely chopped tomato
- 2-3 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce or 2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup water OR 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander for Garnish.
- For the Koftas: Boil the vegetables in a pressure cooker, except the bell pepper. Once done, and cooled, drain out the water(preserve the water) and put in the remaining ingredients including bell pepper and make a paste out of it. Cover it and let it sit for about 1/2 an hour to let the ingredients blend together.
- Take a frying pan and pour enough oil to be able to shallow fry. Heat it for about 7 minutes on little over medium heat. To test whether the oil is ready, put a tiny bit of the kofta dough and put it in the oil, and if it rises up to the surface immediately, then the oil is ready! Make small balls of the dough by using a small ice cream scoop, hide a cashew nut inside the kofta ball. Seal it well and fry about 5 at a time till they are crisp and golden brown on the outside for about 3 minutes each time. Put them on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
- For the ground masala, roast all the spices minus the nuts, on low heat in a small saucepan, for about 5 minutes, stirring it continuously until you start getting the lovely spice smell! Grind it finely in a mixer along with the cashew nuts until it is a paste like consistency.
- In a large saucepan, put the ghee or oil. Let it heat for about 1 min on medium heat. Put the ground masala and saute it for about 2 minutes on low heat. Add and saute the bay leaves, onions and garlic ginger paste till the onions are slightly brown about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Now put in the chopped tomatoes and the paste/sauce and cook it on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. It will look really pastey. Put all the remaining dry ingredients like turmeric powder, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala and salt and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the cream + water OR milk and let it bubble for about 10 minutes. You can now put in the koftas. Garnish with chopped coriander.