Low Fat Vegetable Koftae or Pakorae (Microwave Cooked)
Sabji ke Kofte or Pakore
Anila and Ashok Gupta
Normally, koftas and pakoras have to be deep fried. In this recipe, you can make them in a microwave, without any oil or with very little oil, a help for people who are trying to cut down fat but love kadhi and kofta curry. They lack crispness of fried pakora, so are not suitable for serving as snacks. However, they are excellent for a Curry or a Kadhi. Do not overcook, or they will get hard like rocks in seconds!
In this recipe, I have used cabbage to make koftas. Some of the other vegetables that can also be used for making koftas are lauki/dudhi (Indian sweet gourd), courgettes, cauliflower, mooli, green bananas, spinach and potatoes. In fact most seasonal vegetables can be made into koftas. Makes approximately 20-25.
For Making Koftas:
300 gm. cabbage, grated or very finely chopped.
1 level tsp. baking powder
2 cloves garlic crushed or 1 tsp. grated (optional)
1 inch piece or 1 tsp. grated ginger
1 medium or 100 gm. onion, finely chopped or grated
2-3 green chillies, very finely chopped
1 tbs. coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 cup besan or gram flour*
Salt to taste
1 tsp. oil**
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
For Dumplings or Pakore for Kadhi:
2 cup gram flour or besan, sifted to remove lumps
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. oil**
Sift gram flour/besan and baking powder together in a bowl.
Add all other kofta ingredients.
Add water slowly and make a stiff batter, much stiffer than you would make normally when frying the koftas.
Place spoonfuls or dollops of batter on a microwave steamer plate, leaving approximately 1 inch/2.54 cm. space all around it.
Cook on maximum (approximately 800-1000) for about 1-1/2-2 minutes. Test one, if undercooked, cook for another 30 seconds. When making koftas for the first time, test with a few pieces, to ensure that they do not get burnt /remain under cooked in the centre. Decrease or increase the timing accordingly.
When ready to serve, bring to boil any Basic Curry Sauce of choice, add koftas and simmer for a few minutes.
Making Kadhi Pakoras
Place all pakora ingredients in a bowl and make a stiff, almost dough like batter.
Cook exactly the same as koftas, step 5-6.
When ready to serve, heat the Kadhi sauce and drop the pakoras in it. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn heat off. Serve hot with boiled rice and chapatties.
*In koftas, gram flour/besan is required to bind the vegetables together and it's quantity will depend upon the water content of the vegetable used. Courgettes let out a lot of water when grated, and will need more besan (or squeezing out of some liquid), cauliflower will need less.
**Note from my brother Ashok: The fat in the batter will get heated up 'preferentially’, faster than the rest of the material, which helps to cook the whole body, as well as the core uniformly. It is a known scientific fact that the electro-magnetic waves produced in a microwave oven, are preferentially absorbed by good conductors of electricity and by certain long chain molecules of food, like in fats, egg yolk, sugar and even water which is a better conductor of electricity than flour. That's why when you try to roast peanuts or almonds in a microwave, you may be able to handle them with naked fingers, but try putting them in your mouth! You will almost surely scald your tongue. Similar thing happens when you warm samosas or patties in a microwave when the filling gets heated much more than the skin.