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Malai Kofta

This is my version of a classic. It’s simple, satisfying and packed with veggies. You can make it vegan by swapping out ingredients to suit yourself.
We roast the pumpkin & kumara for an added sweetness & depth of flavour (and sometimes, I’ve roasted extra veggies just to use in here.)

FOR THE KOFTAS
Paneer or firm tofu (grated) 250 gms
Kumara (diced) 1 cup
Pumpkin (diced) 1 cup
Mushrooms (grated) 1 cup
Onion (finely chopped) 1 small
Fresh Coriander (chopped) a handful
Nice Spice” Spice Blend 1 heaped tsp
Cruched Ginger & Garlic 1 tsp
Egg (optional)*
Oil to pan fry the balls

*The egg is optional though it really does help with holding the shape of the balls.

THE CURRY
Onion (finely chopped) 1 large
Crushed Tomatoes can
Raw cashews 100gms
Boiling hot water**
Hurry Curry” Spice Blend 1 heaped tsp
Dried Fenugreek leaves 1 tsp
Fresh coriander (chopped fine) 1 large handful – reserve some for garnish at the end.
Oil for cooking.
Additional water – 1/2 – 1 cup

**Put the raw cashews in a measuring jug and pour boiling hot water to make a cupful. Leave soaking till the water cools. Blitz to a fine paste to cook with.

MAKING THE KOFTAS
-Pre-heat an oven to 200 degrees to roast the kumara & pumpkin.
-Splash some neutral oil, a sprinkle of salt, and roast till caramelised and cooked through.
– Pull out, cool and mash coarsely with a fork.

– Mix all the ingredients – the mashed roasted veg, grated mushrooms, grated paneer, chopped onions, crushed ginger & garlic, coriander, Nice Spice Spice Blend and the egg.
– Using wet hands, mix it all well.
– Form even sized balls and put aside on a plate till you’re ready to cook them. (Using wet hands ensures the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands.)

– Heat about an inch of a neutral oil in a really heavy skillet.
– Cook the balls in batches till evenly browned.

Drain on paper towels and keep aside till you put them in the curry.

COOKING THE CURRY.
– Heat a splash of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (you can use the same skillet you used for frying the koftas.)
– When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook till they’re transparent.
– Add Hurry Curry Spice Blend and bloom the spices (about 15/20 seconds). When spices are fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes and about half the chopped coriander.
– Cook on a medium heat till the tomatoes are caramelised. When the tomatoes turn a deep terracotta colour and start “shedding oil” on the edges of the paste, add the blended cashew paste.
– Mix well and bring to a rolling boil. If the sauce seems too thick, add about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. (Add more if you think it needs it, but bring to a boil before adding the koftas.)
– When the sauce is to your desired consistency, add the dried fenugreek leaves and stir well.
– Taste and season with more salt if you need any.
– Gently, drop the cooked koftas in and shake the pan to coat the koftas with the sauce. Use a spoon to ladle sauce on all the koftas.

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rotis and rice (and pickled onions, of course!)

*If you don’t have dried fenugreek leaves, add about 1/4 tsp of dried fenugreek powder along with the onions when you start cooking the sauce. Or just leave it out. It really does add a depth of flavour, but you can’t miss what you’ve never had! 😉

I must also confess that I have tried to make this without cooking the koftas before putting them in the sauce. Having an egg in there makes it MUCH easier for them to hold their shape. It still tastes pretty good, though!

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