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Friday, 24 May 2013

Malai Kofta Curry!

Malai KoftaMALAI KOFTA & Paneer Butter Masala drives my taste buds crazy. Any restaurant I go its a must I order anyone of these, and am known to eat kofta curry in a bowl & spoon in front of the TV. My mom makes amazing kofta curry, though its not a frequent on our dining table. So, kofta basically means Middle Eastern and South Asian meatballs. And malai is the cream and cashew paste that goes into the curry / gravy. Generally, koftas are made with boiled potatoes mashed, nuts and paneer / Cottage Cheese. But you can do any stuffing you like may it be all veggies like carrots, beans, peas or it may sound a little unauthentic but even koftas made of ground meat can go in. I wanted the Malai Koftas to be in this yellowish green colour (or whatever colour it is!), hence I have added only one tomato and no chilli power. The green chilli gives the spiciness to the gravy and personally I like the flavour of green chillies than red chilli powder.

This kofta curry is very rich, creamy and definitely heavy on your waistline. You can cut down little on the calorie but replacing the heavy cream with warm whole milk, that much you can do.

Serves 3

You Will Need:

For the Koftas:

4 Medium Sized Potatoes, Boiled & Mashed
2 Chillies Finely Chopped
Some Broken Cashews (Optional)
Some Raisins (Optional)
A cup of Tightly Packed Grated Paneer
A tsp of Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
A tsp of Finely Chopped Coriander
1 1/2 tsp Plain Flour / Maida
Salt to Taste

For Batter:

2 tbsp of Plain Flour
4 tbsp of water
Oil to Deep Fry

For the Curry:

Cashew Paste:

1/2 Cup of Cashews, broken
1/4 Cup of Poppy Seeds, Soaked until Soft (Optional, I never use)
A tbsp of Milk, Just to Loosen Up the Paste

Onion Paste:

3 Large Onions, Quartered
5 Garlic Cloves
An inch of Ginger
5 Cardamom Pods
4 Cloves
A Cinnamon Stick
2 Bay Leaves

For the Curry:

1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
A tbsp of Kasuri Methi, Crushed
2 Green Chillies, Finely Chopped
1 Medium Sized Tomato, Pureed
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
A tsp of Cumin Powder
A tsp of Garam Masala
A tsp of Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp of Sugar (Optional)
1/4 Cup of Heavy Cream (I just use a cup of warm milk)
A tbsp of Butter
2 tbsp of Oil
Salt to Season

The Cooking:

To Make the Koftas:

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the onions and green chillies for a min. Then tip in all other ingredients and cook for a min over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir. It makes the mixture to come together. Take off heat and make balls out of it, what ever shape you want them to be.

Make a batter in a semi thick consistency and dip the koftas in and deep fry in oil. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

To Make the Curry:

Grind all the ingredients together to make a smooth onion paste.

Heat butter and oil in a shallow cooking pot and add the chillies and onions. Sauté till the onions become a light brown colour and soft. You can actually feel the softness of the onions when stirring. Now pour in the onion paste and sauté on high heat. This part is very important when making any gravy. The onions need to cook completely, if not you will taste its raw flavour. So sauté till the onions paste begins to lump around and does not stick to the bottom of the pan anymore. Now add the pureed tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin powder and salt. Give a quick stir to mix everything together and cook for 3 – 4 mins on medium high heat.

Once all the raw flavours of the tomato and spices are cooked down pour in the cashew paste, sugar and stir to combine. Cook for a min on medium heat and finally add the cream and kasuri methi. I usually use warm milk it also gives nice creaminess to the gravy. Cover and cook on low heat till the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

Add the koftas and serve hot with roti or Naan.

IMPORTANT POINTERS:
  • You can also shallow fry the koftas.
  • You can also fry the potato without the flour batter but it may fall apart when frying or in the gravy. So the batter is highly recommended.
  • Don’t let the onions brown too much, it will taste bitter.
  • When adding milk, make sure you turn down the heat completely and you add little WARM milk at a time. This ensures it does not split.
  • Add the koftas few mins before serving, in that way they remain not too soggy or too crisp

Happy Cooking!

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