Monday, March 5, 2012

Vegetable balls in curry - Kofta

Indian curries have always been exotic - they are becoming increasingly popular. Almost a staple in the United Kingdom - Chiken tikka masala being the national dish now. Don't blame them for falling in love with the rich mosaic of exotic spices. The varieties and blends are innumerable - from galouti kababs to tikka masala to koftas to chettinad to  .............. I have not even started talking about the bread, biryani, starters, snacks, chutneys and dips......oh the list is endless! And like true art - each curry is different, even the same recipe, cooked by the same person on a different day will taste different - and that is why cooking is an art form - no two paintings can be alike - even though it has been done by the same artist. For me,that is what makes it so much more fun, that is also my reason to dislike not limit myself to the boxed/bottled curry paste - which is so predictable. I must confess I have been guilty of using them - but have almost always regretted it.

This is originally a recipe from my mother, which I have altered a bit - these koftas are great with , naan, rotis or just plane pilaf. Some plain yogurt and hot papads and you got a best seller there.

Remember I was talking about  'know our ingredient' - read here - featuring  'starr anise' in this post. But first the  kofta.

For the curry 

1 large onion 
2 tomatoes
1/2 inch ginger
1 garlic pod

1 tbsp garam masala - recipe here 

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 arm of  star anies
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
1/2 cream or thick yogurt (make sure yogurt is not to sour)
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

for the kofta 

1 small bottle gourd (lauki) grated, squeeze the juice out .
1/2 a handful shredded cabbage 
1 or 2 tbsp shredded carrots 
1/2 cup green gram - split (i.e without its green jacket) - moong daal
2 tbsp gram flour - besan
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric 
oil to deep fry


Soak the green gram in warm water and after it is nice and plump, grind into fine paste - don't add to much water, try to keep it as dry as you can.  Grate the bottle guard  and remove all the juices - keep the juice  aside we will use it in the curry.Shred the cabbage and carrots. Add the green gram paste, gram flour, turmeric and the grated bottle guard and shredded vegis - don't add the salt till you are ready to fry- it'll sweat and make the mix soggy. Consistency should be thick enough to form the shape of a kofta. If not add more gram flour /besan.
In a sauce pan heat oil - you could also use a deep fryer.  Add the salt . Drop in the koftas one at a time till it gets crowded in the pan, turn and remove after they are nice and golden brown. keep aside.

For the curry

Blend the onion and tomatoes till it is a smooth puree. Shredd the ginger.

In a saucepan add 1 tbsp oil, add cumin, cinnamon, and star anies, add the onion tomato puree and salt, lower the flame and let it simmer, add  all the other dry masalas, along with the garlic and ginger, on a low flame roast till the mixture thickens. It will now look a bit dark , add  the bottle guard water and the cream or yogurt, simmer for 5 min, add the fried koftas and let it simmer for another 5 min, garnish with cilantro. serve hot .

Know your ingredient 

*Star anise - the legend about star anise is that like a four leaf clover, if you find a whole intact 8 arm anise, it is considered very lucky. Lucky or not this sweet spicy aromatic little stars can enhance the flavor to another notch. Used a lot in Chinese dishes, specially duck and pork dishes. The ground seeds are often added in coffee and tea to bring out the flavors.  The oil is used to flavor drinks. 

The Japanese star anise is regarded as a sacred plant. The seeds are often chewed to sweeten your breath. As a herbal medicine it is used to treat constipation, bladder issues, relieving colic and flavor cough medication. 

Sharing it on "Bon -Vivant moments 2" hosted by Sumee,  "walk through memory lane" hosted by Roshan and Gayathri and  Indian Food Palooza hosted by Prerna , Kathy and Barbara Thanks for hosting !!

*Source - The spice companion by Richard Craze and The contemporary encyclopedia of herbs and spices by Tony Hill. 

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  1. yummy looking curry. love the star anise in pics

  2. Love lauki ka kofta.. very special to me coz this was the first dish i learnt from my dad..never fails :)

    Ongoing Event: I'm a STAR

  3. Wow nice one, adding the moong dal to the kofta is new, and thanks for the info on star anise..

  4. Delicious looking kofta curry. Pics are simply awesome.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  5. Kofta looks very delicious! I could never get those right when I was learning to cook from my mom.

    Thank you for leaving your foot prints on my blog. It is always nice to meet someone new who enjoys foodie things as much as I do.

  6. such a delicious curry n beautiful fotographs

  7. Delicious looking kofta curry!

  8. I love the pics of your koftas, specially the first one...same here initially after moving to the UK I used Pathaks was so horribly bland it made me want to cry...same experience with pasta I make everything from scratch at home...:-)

  9. This looks awesome...bookmarked


  10. wow...delicious kofta recipe ! loved the presentation n clicks ! looks absolutely yummy !

  11. Looks so tempting!

  12. Awesome snaps. The curry looks absolutely delicious...

  13. Love your snaps.! Great clicks.. ANd thnx for linking up this lip smacking dish

  14. This sounds so delicious and love the rich color!

  15. hi there...thanks for linking this recipe to WTML...droolworthy snaps and mouthwatering curry...



  16. Kofta looks delicious perfect with naan ,,.and ya very nice pics,,.

  17. Love your recipe and the colors!Looks absolutely delcious and yummy!Would love to try it sometime :)PS-lovely clicks!


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