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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Malai Kofta

What I love about my blog is that I myself don't know what recipe I am going to post next. It is totally unplanned surprise event for me that I happen to cook something or see something that I like and think hummmm... this would be a good recipe to share.
So I made Malai Kofta other day, of course followed my mom's recipe with some variations here and there and they came out pretty good, and here it is... I would like to share this recipe with you all.
Malai Kofta is dumpling or balls of paneer, potatoes and veggies served in rich nutty buttery gravy/sauce. It goes very well with naan and plain Rice.
I know, I know... it is a complex recipe...and takes planning and long time to make, but it is for the love of cooking and the end product...which in this case is so gives you the utmost satisfaction...
For those of who are already getting tired of just reading the exhausting list of ingredients and the long process...and also don't have time to make this, you can go to an expensive Indian restaurant and order this dish....which is always hit or miss....but it is a delicious dish and you must try it once in your life time...


For the Koftas balls :

• 4 medium size potatoes, boiled

• 10 small baby grams carrots

• 2 cups green peas

• 2 slices of bread

• 1 8 oz packet of paneer

• 6-8 small florets of cauliflower

• salt to taste

• 2 tsp lemon or lime juice or 2 tsp of mango powder

• 1 cup corn starch

• 1 teaspoon of garam masala or all spice mix

• oil for deep frying

• 1/2 cup bread crumbs

• 1/4 cup of crispy frying mix (optional)

Ingredients For gravy:

• 1/4 cup of cashew halves

• 1 table spoon of poppy seeds

• 1/2 cup of paneer

• 1/2 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt (make sure it is not sour)

• 1 tea spoon of dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

• 4 onions

• 3-4 red cherry peppers or you may use 2 large red peppers

• 2 "piece ginger

• 10 garlic cloves

• 8 small jalapenos or serano peppers

• 1 cup tomato paste or crush tomatoes from can

• 4 table spoon oil

• 2 tbsp butter

• 4 bay leaves

• 4 big black cardamom pods

• 1" piece of cinnamon

• 6 cloves

• 4 dry red chilli pods

• 1 teaspoon black pepper corn

• 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds

• 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

• salt and pepper to taste

• 2 tsp garam masala

• 2 tsp chilli powder

• 1 tbl spoon of paprika

• 2 table spoon of coriander powder

• 1 tsp turmeric powder

• 2 tsp of cumin powder

• 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds powder

• 2 cups of water

• 3-4 tsp sugar

• 1/2 cup fresh cream (optional)

• 1 bunch of cilantro leaves chopped


To Prepare Malai Koftas:

In my kitchen the Presto pressure cooker and my Cuisinart food processor are my best buddies.

* To make kofta I place the potatoes in one container and all the veggies in anther container and pressure cook them together for about 6 whistle. Open the cooker only when it is cool and all the steam is let out.

* For those of you who don't own a pressure cooker can simple boil the potatoes and veggies separately to the consistency so they can be mashed.

* Soak the slices of bread in water for 10 min.

* Drain all the water out of bread, veggies and peel potatoes.

* Mash potatoes and 8 ozs of of paneer together.

* Grind all the veggies in the food processor.

* Mix them with potato and paneer mixture.

* Add bread crumbs, crispy frying mix.

* Add salt, Lime juice mango powder, and garam masala.

* Mix all these ingredients well and divide it in to small oval shape balls.

* Roll the balls in the corn starch.

* Deep fry them until they are golden brown.

* Take them out of oil and place them on stack of news paper top layered with paper towel for all the oil to be soaked.

* Keep them aside.

To prepare the gravy/sauce :

* Grind, kasoori Methi and poppy seeds to a fine powder

* Mix above with 1/2 cup of paneer and 1/2 cup of sour cream or yogurt

* Finely chop ginger and garlic together in food processor

* Finely chop onions and all peppers togetehr in food processor.

* Heat oil and butter together in pan.

* Add cumin seeds, when seeds are crackling add asafotida, bay leaves, cardamoms, peppercorn, chili pods, cloves and cinnamon stick.

* Stir for few seconds and add garlic ginger paste.

* Saute for 1 min, add onions and saute until golden brown about 5 min

* Add all the powder spices and salt, mix well

* Add tomato paste, cook for 5 min.

* Add cashew, poppy seeds, kasoori methi and sour cream paste to this, mix well.

* Add 2 cups of water on and cook for 5 min. (you can add more/less water if the gravy is too thick or thin, remember once you cook Kofta in gravy, some of the water will be soaked by Koftas and it may become a little thick)

* Add sugar.

* Add cream at the end.

Gravy is ready to be served with Kofta.

Only thing about Kofta curry is you can't dip the kofta in the gravy until ready to be served, because they will fall apart in gravy and it will be a big mess.

What I usually do when serving to family is place 4 kofta in individual serving bowl and pour some gravy over them and microwave each bowl for 1-2 min and serve individually.

If you are having company what you can do is that just 10 min before serving you can drop the kofta into gravy and cook for about 5 min on stove (do not stir aggressively) garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

This recipes serves about 10-12 people. Makes about 40-50 koftas depending on the size of kofta balls you make.

Recipe: Modified by Surekha from Original recipe by my dearest mom Mrs. Kasturben.

Photographs by Surekha.

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