Vegetable Koftas in Punjabi Curry, Baked not Fried!

The Indian cooking lessons continue and when Shiva said we were going to make Koftas, I knew they were going to be good. Of course. Dumplings of all kinds, no matter the cuisine of origin, are some of the best things that a person can put into their mouths and I freely  admit that every time I see anything on a menu that remotely resembles a dumpling I order it, I don’t even care what’s in it.

As prepared as I thought I was, I wasn’t expecting how tasty these were, warm with spice, but light and fresh because of the farmer’s market vegetables, it is afterall the height of the season here in the Northeast. Though, maybe I shouldn’t be, I am constantly shocked at how so few ingredients can make such a volume of food in Indian cooking, it truly is magical.  I imagine that one day I will cease to be amazed, but that day isn’t today.

Vegetable Koftas

makes 10-12 dumplings

1 carrot grated

1 large potato boiled, skinned and smashed

1 zucchini grated

1/2 cup peas smashed

1/3 cup cilantro leaves roughly chopped

2 small green chilies minced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Chunky Chat Masala

3-4 tablespoons gram flour (to hold the dough together)

Grate the zucchini and carrots into a bowl.

Squeeze the juice from the carrots and zucchini, reserving for another use, like adding to any sauce for more flavor.

Push the smashed peas and potatoes into a bowl and add the squeezed dry grated carrot and zucchini.

Knead this mixture until smooth as possible. Then add the gram flour a little at a time until the dough feels like it will hold together, it took us 3-4 tablespoons. It’s a little hard to be exact here, since some of that it going to depend on how liquidy the vegetables are. Once you have a dough, roll into ping pong sized balls and press down into patties.

Traditionally, these are fried, however we decided to bake them not only in the interest of our insides (and outsides) but also in the interest of not creating the gigantic mess that always seems to accompany deep frying at home. However, you can deep fry these at this point if you really, really want to.

Preheat the broiler. Once the oven is ready, put these on a non-stick baking surface and broil until brown on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side.

While these hot babes are cooking, make the Punjabi curry

Punjabi Curry

1 onion finely chopped and fried brown in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.  Shiva and I used a red one.

To the frying onions add 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoons garlic and ginger (fresh or paste), 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspon garam masala.

Grind two tomatoes in a food processor.

Add this to the fried onions.

Cook down to a paste.

Add 1 1/2 cups water.

Add the vegetable Koftas to the curry.

Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes until you get this:

Yum! Serve this with rice or even dahl. We ate this with oven dried Okra and Goat Curry, both recipes coming this week.

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