Vegetable Kofta Curry
Sabji ke Koftae
Koftas are easy to make. They can be served as snacks, with Green Mango Chutney or Chilli Sauce, or they can be added to a Curry Sauce and served as a main course. Almost any vegetable that can be grated can be used. I always make double the quantity, as half are eaten by everyone while I am frying them! The recipe looks very long but it is a relatively easy dish to make. This recipe makes approximately 20 (4 per person).
Here I have made the koftas in a basic, north Indian curry sauce, but you can add them to any curry sauce of choice.
Edited April 2014
300 gm. or 2-3 courgettes*** (tori/turai) or lauki (Indian sweet/bottle gourd) or cabbage or carrots or potatoes or a mix of two or more vegetables
2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp. grated (optional)
1 inch piece or 1 tsp. grated ginger
1 medium or 100 gm onion, finely chopped or grated
1-3 green chillies, chopped very finely. Adjust to taste.
1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped finely
1 cup besan or gram flour* (see Notes). Plain flour* (maida) can be used instead and works well.
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
Oil to deep fry
For curry sauce (or use basic curry sauce)
1 onion peeled
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2-3 cloves of garlic (optional), peeled
2 medium tomatoes, chopped finely or 200 gm tinned tomatoes.
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. of coriander powder
Salt to taste
Water for gravy.
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
A handful of chopped coriander leaves for garnish
*Either Besan or white flour is required to bind the vegetables together and its quantity will depend upon the water content of the vegetable used.
**If using green bananas, add 1/3rd by weight potatoes.
***Fresh courgettes let out a lot of water when grated, so squeeze some of the liquid out before adding besan/flour.
Making Koftas ball:
Peel and grate vegetables of choice coarsely (too fine will not have any texture).
Squeeze excessive water out (save it for the curry gravy/sauce).
Mix all kofta ingredients together. The consistency should be like very soft dough.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi to medium hot. If the oil is too hot, they will remain uncooked inside. If it is not hot enough, koftas will take long to cook and absorb too much oil. If it is too hot, inside will left uncooked. To test, roll one small kofta, using wetted or oiled hands and gently slide it into the hot oil. It should rise to the top sizzling. The kofta should not break up. If it breaks up, add a little more besan to the rest of the mix. If the kofta mixture is a little too runny to make balls, either add more besan or pick roughly one tablespoon of the mix with a spoon and gently slide it off into the oil with a finger or another spoon. Fry in batches of 6-7.
Turn over a few times and take out when brown on all sides.
Peel and wash onions, ginger and garlic and grind together in a food processor or grate finely by hand.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida powder and let the seeds splutter.
Add onion, ginger and garlic paste and fry until golden to dark brown (not burnt) and oil separates.
Add tomatoes and spices and fry until oil separates/shines at the edges.
Add 2 cups of water and boil briskly for 5 minutes or so.
Adjust salt and chillies to your own taste.
Stir in garam masala.
Add koftas only a few minutes before serving and re-heat. Otherwise they will become too soft and may break.
Transfer to a serving dish. Add coriander leaves and mix gently, sprinkling some on top as garnish.
*Either Besan (Bengal gram flour) or white flour is required to bind the vegetables together and its quantity will depend upon the water content of the vegetable used. Fresh courgettes let out a lot of water when grated, so will need too much besan, which will make them too firm. So if the grated vegetable looks too watery, squeeze some of the liquid out before adding besan/flour.