Thursday, March 24, 2011

Malai Kofta

Recipe adapted from Tarla Dala, Curries & Kadhais


Koftas (Cheese Dumplings):
- 1 1/2 cups paneer
- 1 small yukon gold potato, boiled to fork tender and peeled (optional) **
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying

- 3 cups chopped tomatoes ***
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp ground red pepper powder
- 4 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- Brown Sugar (optional)

Ground the following to a thick paste in a Food Processor:
- 3/4 cup onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp green chillies, chopped
- 2 whole dry red chillies
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp piyal seeds
- 2 tsp white poppy seeds (khus-khus)
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 tsp cilantro, chopped

* Ingredients/spices can be find in an Indian market.
**  I added potato to the original kofta recipe just because I like them.
*** I used canned tomatoes instead of fresh.  I didn't like the tomatoes I had on hand.  If you have, nice, juicy tomatoes, proceed w/ original recipe.  To be safe, go for the canned.


For the Koftas:
- Grate the paneer and mix in the flour, baking powder, chillies, cilantro, and salt.  Knead until combined
- If using, add the potato by passing through a ricer.  If you don't have a ricer, try grating the potato in, but be gentle.  Gently knead in the potato.  Combine well but do not overmix, or you the starch can make the mixture gummy.
- Taste for seasonings, and add salt as needed.  If the sauce is acidic, add a little bit of brown sugar at a time and taste.
- Shape into small balls and deep fry in hot oil until golden brown in color.  Fry only two koftas at a time so they don't separate.  Set fried koftas aside until ready to use. 

For the Gravy:
- Add 3 cups of water to the tomatoes to cook them in a saucepan.  When soft, puree them in a blender or food processor.  Note, if your tomatoes don't look good that day, use 3-4 cups of canned tomatoes instead (pureed).  Set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet and fry the paste well to develop flavors.
- Add the ground red pepper powder and fry again for a minute.
- Add the tomato puree and salt.  Boil the gravy for at least 10-15 minutes. 
- Add the cream, and mix.  Taste for seasonings and add as needed.  Turn off the heat.

To Serve:
- Just before serving, heat the gravy and add the koftas.  Just heat enough to warm up the koftas.  These should be added to the gravy last so they retain their shape/consistency and do not break.  Do not overheat.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.