Wishing You a Vegie Christmas

Over the next week or so I will be publishing some great Christmas-friendly recipes for those of you ‘Christmas-conscious” vegie readers agonising over what to cook for guests this festive season.


Let’s start with some succulent Kofta.

Succulent Mixed Vegetable Balls in Herbed Tomato Sauce (Kofta)

Koftas are succulent, Indian style vegetable balls that can be served soaking in sauce or smothered in gravy. A number of vegetables are suitable for making kofta – potato, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and radish are the most popular. My favourite kofta are made from a mixture of cauliflower and cabbage and served on a bed of steaming hot rice, or as illustrated, couscous. Try these succulent delights either as part of a main meal or as an accompanying savoury. Makes 24 koftas.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
4 cups tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons sugar

2 cups grated cauliflower
2 cups grated cabbage
1 cups chickpea flour
teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
teaspoon cayenne
oil for deep frying

The sauce:
Heat the oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. When hot, drop in the bay leaves and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Sprinkle in the yellow asafetida powder, and fry momentarily.

Stir in the tomato puree and basil. Raise the heat, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until a little reduced. Add in the salt, pepper and sugar, remove from the heat and keep warm.

The koftas:
Combine all the kofta ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Roll the mixture into 24 balls. I usually do not add water to the mixture since the moisture from the vegetables is usually enough to bind the mix. If you have to add water, add it in drops, not cupfuls. The secret of good koftas is a firm sticky dry mix, not a sloppy one.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep pan over fairly high heat to about 180 C / 350 F. Carefully drop in 6-8 balls, or more if your oil has a strong flame under it and the surface of the oil has room for more.

Fry the koftas for 2 or 3 minutes or until they rise to the surface and start to colour.

Reduce the heat to low, and fry for another 8-10 minutes, or until they are a deep reddish brown. Hint: they should be darker than golden-brown.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Increase the oil temperature to its original temperature, and repeat the frying procedure for the remaining batches of koftas.

Serve: soak the koftas in the hot sauce 10 minutes before serving time to allow them to fully soak and become plump and succulent.
Posted by Kurma on 9/12/09; 2:43:39 PM

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