For Cashew Paste
- 12 cashews
- 3 tablespoons water, for grinding cashews
For Onion Paste
- 180 grams onions or 2 large onions or 1.3 cups roughly chopped onions
- 1 green chilli
- 5 grams garlic or 3 to 4 medium size garlic cloves or 1/2 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
- 5 grams ginger or 1 inch ginger or 1/2 tablespoon roughly chopped ginger
For Tomato Puree
- 125 grams tomatoes or 1 large tomato or 1 cup tightly packed chopped tomatoes
For Making Vegetable Kofta
- 70 grams carrot or 1 small to medium carrot
- 85 grams capsicum or 1 medium sized capsicum (bell pepper)
- 75 grams potato or 1 small to medium potato
- 115 grams cauliflower or 1.25 cups chopped cauliflower florets
- 1/3 cup green peas
- ¼ cup grated processed cheese – (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ cup besan or add as required
- salt as required
- oil for deep frying, as required
Ingredients For Vegetable Kofta Curry
- 3 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 black cardamom
- 2 single strands of mace (javitri)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or 1/4 teaspoon regular red chili powder
- 3 tablespoons Curd (yogurt)
- 1.5 cups water or add as required
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tablespoons low fat cream – 25% to 35% fat
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
- salt as required
- some chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon low fat cream
- some grated cheese or paneer
For ease of understanding I have divided this post into 3 main steps:
- Step 1 – making veggie kofta mixture
- Step 2 – frying vegetable kofta
- Step 3 – making vegetable kofta curry
Lets start with step 1 – making veggie kofta mixture
1. Firstly either grate or mince veggies in a food processor or a food chopper or with a grater. You will need 1 small to medium carrot, 1 medium-sized capsicum (bell pepper), 1 small to medium potato, 1.25 cups chopped cauliflower florets and ⅓ cup green peas.
2. Make a coarse mince of the veggies. I have used raw green peas and minced it along with the other veggies. If you do not have a food processor or food chopper, then boil or steam peas, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower separately. Drain of all the water. Then mash very well and add to finely chopped capsicum.
3. Take the veggie mixture in a bowl.
4. Add ¼ cup grated cheese or paneer. You can use cheddar cheese or processed cheese. You can also skip adding cheese or paneer.
5. Then add ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder.
6. Next add ½ cup besan (gram flour) and salt as per taste.
7. Mix very well. If the mixture appears too light and watery, then add some more besan. Check the taste and add more spices and salt if required.
8. Make small to medium sized balls from this veggie mixture. If you are not able to shape into balls, then add some water and make a pakora batter consistency. Then fry like the way pakoras are fried.
Frying veggie kofta
9. Heat oil for deep frying in a pan. Add a small tiny piece of the veggie ball and see if it breaks in oil or not. If it breaks or bursts in oil, then add more besan. The amount of besan to be added depends on the moisture content in the veggies. If using vegetables with high water content like bottle gourd (lauki), cabbage, zucchini or pumpkin etc, then add some salt in the grated veggies. Mix very well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Then squeeze the excess water. Keep this water and add later to the gravy.
10. If the veggie ball does not break, then you can easily start frying them. Keep the flame to medium and gently slid the veggie kofta balls in the hot oil.
11. Add as much depending on the size and capacity of the kadai or pan. Do not overcrowd.
12. Turn only when one side is golden or else the vegetable kofta can break.
13. Turn over a couple of times for even frying. Fry till they are crisp and golden.
14 Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on kitchen paper towels.
15. Prepare all vegetable kofta this way and keep aside.
Making vegetable kofta curry
1. In a food processor or chopper or blender/grinder jar, take 12 cashews.
2. Add 3 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth paste. You can soak cashews for 20 minutes in hot water also before blending. Alternatively, you can even make a fine cashew powder instead of paste. Remove cashew paste and keep aside.
3. In the same processor or chopper or grinder, take 1.3 cups roughly chopped onions, 1 green chilli, ½ tablespoon roughly chopped garlic and ½ tablespoon roughly chopped ginger.
4. Without adding any water, grind to a semi fine or a smooth paste. Keep aside.
5. In the same processor or chopper or grinder, take 1 cup tightly packed chopped tomatoes.
6. Without adding any water, grind to a semi fine or a smooth puree. Remove and keep aside.
7. Heat 3 tablespoons oil or ghee in a pan or thick bottomed kadai. Add 1 tej patta, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom and 2 single strands of mace. Sauté for a few seconds till the spices splutter.
8. Then add the onion paste.
9. Mix and begin to sauté the onion paste on a low to medium flame stirring often.
10. Sautéing onion paste takes a lot of time, so add a pinch of salt to quicken the cooking process.
11. Sauté till the onion paste turns golden.
12. Then add the tomato puree.
13. Mix very well.
14. Next add the cashew paste.
15. Mix again and sauté this masala for 2 to 3 minutes on a low to medium flame stirring often.
16. Then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon regular red chili powder. Mix very well.
17. Keep the flame to a low and then add 3 tablespoons fresh curd or yogurt.
18. Stir briskly and quickly while you are adding the fresh curd. Mix very well.
19. Now sauté this masala, till you see oil or ghee releasing from the sides. The whole masala will reduce and you can easily see oil releasing from the masala.
20. Now add 1.5 cups water or add as required. For a thicker gravy, you can add 1 to 1.25 cups water. If serving vegetable kofta gravy with chapatis or rotis, then keep the gravy slightly thick. If serving mix veg kofta gravy with rice, then keep the gravy slightly thin or with medium consistency.
21. Season with salt.
22. Bring the curry to a simmer on low to medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes. Once the curry is done, it will be reduced slightly and you will see specks of oil floating on top.
23. Add ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon kasuri methi (crushed) and 2 tablespoons low fat cream. Mix very well. Cream is optional and can be skipped.
24. Switch off the flame and add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. Mix again. Do not add veggie kofta in the hot curry or gravy as they break.
25. Now take the curry in a serving bowl or dish.
26. Place the veggie kofta on the curry. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves, grated cheese and cream. Serve mix vegetable kofta curry with chapatis, naan or jeera rice or plain paratha.