Yield: 1 servings
Kofta, a classic dish of Moghul origin, is one of the most important preparations of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Traditionally, koftas are simmered in a delicate sauce and turned into a curried main dish.
These kebabs are wonderful served as cocktail appetizers with a yogurt or fruity dipping sauce. INGREDIENTS:
2 large russet potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed ½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 fresh hot green chile, chopped ½ teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1½ teaspoons salt ¼ cup chopped cashew nuts 1 tablespoon raisins ¾ cup chick-pea flour or corn flour (see note) 1 cup water Mild vegetable oil for deep frying
SPICY CREAM SAUCE:
8 whole cashew nuts 2 whole cloves Pinch nutmeg ½-inch cinnamon stick 1 garlic clove, peeled 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large onion, grated Pinch turmeric 2 teaspoons paprika ½ teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup half-and-half 1 cup water ½ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro The kofta: Combine potatoes, peas, cheese, chile, coriander, cumin, salt, cashews and raisins. Form mixture into 1-inch balls.
Make a batter with the flour and water. Season with pinch of salt, if desired.
Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan. Dip balls into batter to coat completely, and deep-fry until brown (do not crowd), about 4 minutes. Set aside.
(If you want the kebabs to remain firm, put them on a heated serving platter, and tent with foil. To serve, bring cream sauce to a boil and pour over kebabs.)
The sauce: Grind cashews, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic with a little water to make a fine paste. Set aside.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until wilted; stir in ground paste and cook 2 minutes.
Add turmeric, paprika, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir in half-and-half and water. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
(May be prepared 2 days ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated.) Stir in cream and kofta kebabs. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Note: Chick-pea flour (also called besan) may be purchased at Indian grocery stores.
PER SERVING: 645 calories, 15 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 43 g fat (19 g saturated), 86 mg cholesterol, 1,450 mg sodium, 8 g fiber.
Laxmi Hiremath writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/92.
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