Tag Archives: Kofta

Paneer Kofta Curry

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Paneer Kofta Curry

I enjoy kofta curries because I think they are fun. I just made a chicken kofta curry not too long ago and last night decided to throw together a paneer version.  I’m leaving for an out-of-town speaking engagement so I wanted to use up whatever I thought would not last the next four days or so (which included some leftover paneer).  I found one sweet potato in the bottom drawer and some cilantro and chilies that needed to be used up ASAP.  I also didn’t take as many ingredient pictures because I was kind of cooking as I was going along.  I wasn’t sure how the sweet potato would taste in the dish but ended up liking the sweetness balanced with the other spices.  Let me know what you think!

The potato to paneer ratio should be about 1:1, I kind of liked the sweet potato and regular potato mixture, give it a sweet and spicy kick

Add in all the other ingredient

Make into little balls slightly bigger than a quarter (yields about 19-20)

Coat the koftas in a flour batter

Fry until golden brown and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil

Saute the onions and tomatoes along with bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks together until fragrant

Add in all the other spices

Add tomato paste and then some water

Add in yogurt or coconut milk (whichever you prefer along with additional water) and let sauce simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Add in koftas, cook an additional 2-3 minutes before sprinkling with fresh cilantro

Great served with rice or naan

Paneer Kofta Curry

Kofta balls:

1 sweet potato

1 regular potato

1 cup of paneer

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 inch of ginger, grated

1/2 cumin powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 green chili, chopped

3 green onions (white and green parts together), chopped

Paneer Kofta coating

1/4 cup flour

6 tbsp water

Oil for frying

Curry

3 tbsp oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

2 bay leaf

4-5 whole cloves

4-5 cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups water (approximately)

1/2 cup yogurt OR lite coconut milk (whichever you have on hand)

Salt to taste

some fresh chopped cilantro for the end

Pierce the skin of the potatoes with a fork and microwave for about 5 minutes until they are tender.  Take off the skin and mash together.  I avoid boiling the potatoes since I want a dry mixture and don’t want to introduce any more moisture.  The yielded potatoes should be about 1 cup.  Mix potatoes, paneer and all the other ingredients for the koftas together and form into small balls a little bigger than the size of a quarter.  They will expand a little in the sauce so you don’t want them too big and mushy.  Make a thin batter out of flour and water (about the consistency of crepe batter).  Coat each kofta in the batter and fry them quickly in some oil.  I used a small pan and a higher heat.  I was trying to give the koftas a coating to keep them from falling apart since they don’t have the resiliency of meatballs.  Set the koftas on a paper towel lined pan to absorb excess oil.

In a medium sauce pan heat oil and begin sauteing onion and tomatoes together.  Add in bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and crushed cardamom pods.  Stir fry until fragrant.  Add in turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili and stir fry for a few minutes before adding the garlic and ginger. Add in 1/2 cup of water and the tomato paste stir until everything is incorporated.  Stir in yogurt  and another cup of water or if you’re using coconut milk instead, add that in.  Let the sauce cook for 3-4 minutes until all the flavors are well incorporated, check for salt and adjust accordingly.  Drop in the kofta balls and gently stir.  Cover and let it cook about 2 minutes. Koftas will grow in size as they soak in some of the sauce.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with rice or naan.

Chicken Kofta Curry

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Chicken Kofta Curry

I love using ground chicken or ground turkey in a lot of different dishes.  They are low in fat, versatile and taste great.  Traditional koftas are actually meat ground in a big mortar and pestle called a Shil Pata.  The resulting texture is a very smooth meat mixture.  I think ground chicken or turkey naturally lends itself to a smoother kofta like texture without using a giant mortar and pestle (or a food processor).  I know that I say in most of my posts that the recipe was “quick”, “fast” or “easy”.  A friend recently told me that she doesn’t have hardly any spices in her pantry so when she thinks of cooking something that has more than 3 spices listed she feels overwhelmed and it doesn’t seem “fast” or “easy” to her.  She is also bored out of her mind with what she fixes for her family.  Hmmmm.  There are two options, keep eating boring food or invest in some spices. I know that many who are not used to cooking South Asian or African dishes think we use too many spices.  Since we were the hub of the spice trail its kind of hard not to use what was so readily available.  It does make things taste wonderful.  I think that having a variety of spices in your pantry is an investment.  You can’t experiment if you don’t have it handy.  Some of my best dishes were accidental discoveries.  When spices are in your pantry it is  “easy” and “fast”.  I took her shopping recently after work.  Utilizing the bulk section of a local grocery store, we stocked up on 15 different spices and her total cost was less than $20.  My post today is to challenge my friend to use her new spices.  She has every one listed (I know that for a fact!).   You go girl!

Mix up the meatballs and set aside

Carmelize onions and add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds.

Add other spices and tomato paste to make sauce. Place meat balls in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes

Add watered down yogurt to cooked meatballs and cook another couple of minutes before serving

Top Chicken Kofta Curry with chopped cilantro

Chicken Kofta Curry

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken Kofta Curry

Meatballs:

1 pound ground chicken

handful chopped cilantro

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 seeded green chili, chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

Curry:

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

4 whole cloves

4-5 cardamom pods, crushed

2 bay leaves

2 sticks cinnamon sticks (Dalchinne)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

3-4 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup greek yogurt mixed with a little water

1/2-1 cup water

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Mix together the meatball ingredients and form into golf ball sized meat balls.  Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil add onions, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods.  Stir fry until onions are tender and the spices are fragrant.  Add in chili powder, turmeric and garlic.  Stir fry a minute or two before adding the tomato paste.  Stir to incorporate.  Add about a cup of water and meatballs to the sauce, turn heat to low and cover.  Let meatballs simmer covered for about 15-18 minutes, stirring often and adding water as needed until meatballs are cooked through. Add yogurt last and stir through and cook an additional minute to incorporate everything.  Top with chopped cilantro. Remember to fish out the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before serving.   Serve with rice or with a naan.