Friday, 16 January 2015

Vegan Sweet Potato and Tofu Kofta Curry !


Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, Be fearless & above all have fun.. Julia Child
Malai Kofta, these two drool worthy words were music to my ears when I heard first time, when I was 18-19 through a family friend. She said they had it in one of the Punjabi restaurant, which I never heard of. I got little excited but when I looked at mum's face and I just buried all my thoughts and hopes. Around that time these type of restaurants were newly opened in Gujarat, where Punjabi and Moghlai dishes served, they weren't popular among Gujju community. But today times have changed and the Punjabi and Moghlai restaurants have taken on big time !


While growing up in India, every day it was simple home cooked meal, always cooked from scratch for us. Dining out or I should say snacking out, was only on blue moon occasions and that too few snacks like dosa or pav bhaji. Dining out was kind of luxury in those days, but it is all so common now days. Punjabi or Moghlai cuisine we never heard of. But times have changed, world has become globalized , people have become more adventurous and aware about other culture and cuisine and wants to experience in expending their flavours pallets and minds.





I've adventured in Punjabi and Moghlai cuisines only when I got married to a British cultured boy, while he was enjoying India, various dishes and certainly my company ! I went against family tradition and literally we ate out during most of his stay in India. We ate from roadside joints to five star restaurants and gorged on simple Palak paneer to rich and calorie laden Navratna Korma, Tandoori Rotis to Peshwari Naan, Simple jeera rice to aromatic veg Biryanis, and certainly Malai Kofta was on the order every single time. We immensely enjoyed everything we ate, as for me it was freedom to eat out and husband was used to only British taste, so for him it was totally a new exotic journey.






I always wanted to prepare Malai Kofta at home, never got a chance to make in India for my parents and siblings. As soon as I landed in U.K, I started preparing many new dishes with so much enthusiasm. Fragrant, sweet and nutty Malai Koftas became  a regular, but the day my daughter said she can't handle very rich and heavy curries, I rarely make traditional Malai Kofta !


Since then I am always on the look out for healthier option for Malai Kofta.In the past I have prepared healthier version of  Malai Kofta by steaming up the koftas and totally avoided cream,  instead used skimmed milk and came up with Palak and Paneer kofta curry. This time I've experimented by using tofu, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds replacing full fat paneer, potatoes, cream and butter, by an obvious choice prepared koftas using minimum fat in panniyaram pan.  Instead of deep fried and calorie loaded koftas, lighter and tasty kofta went into creamy, nutty and fragrant gravy.




Until I revealed to family about this version of Malai Kofta that it is absolutely on a healthier side, they couldn't believe it. We all settled for to keep this in our menu. Redolent and finger licking curry we thoroughly enjoyed on my birthday. Daughter took it to  university to enjoy the next day. I was relieved every one was fine after having it, as it was light yet so tasty !

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You will need :- Kofta

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 packet of tofu almost 400 g
  • 2 - 3 tbsp corn flour or plain flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp. ginger  green chilli paste
  • 1tbsp.finely chopped coriander 
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Pinch of cardamom powder
You will need :- Creamy Gravy
  • 1 cup tomato puree ( 2/3 tomato + 1/3 water )
  • 2 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • Pinch of cardamom powder
  • Pinch of mace powder ( Javentri ) optional
  • 4 - 5 tbsp. light coconut milk ( optional )
  • 1/2 tsp. kasoori methi
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain cashew nuts + 2 tbsp. poppy seeds + 1tbsp. + 2 tbsp.raisins +1tbsp melon seeds soaked in a warm water
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmir chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander and cumin
  • Handful of chopped coriander 
Method :- kofta

Squeeze the water out of the tofu, make sure no moisture is left. ( I wrap in the kitchen tissue paper and leave it for 2-3 hours )
Wash sweet potato thoroughly and pierce with fork or sharp knife.
Place them on a M/W proof plate and cook 12-15 minutes or until the flesh is thoroughly cooked and tender.
Let it cool little and remove skin, mash them with a potato masher or by hand.
Sweet potato mash should be without any lumps.

Mash tofu and combine with mashed sweet potatoes.
Add corn flour, ginger  green chilli paste, finely chopped coriander, garam masala and cardamom powder.
Once again mix all the ingredients well and make equal sized balls, press slightly place cashew and raisins and seal the ball properly. Repeat with remaining balls and filling.
Heat paniyaram pan,add few drops of oil and place stuffed koftas to cook.
Cook the koftas till light golden brown on a low heat.
Remove them and leave it aside for later use.


Method :- Creamy Curry

Grind soaked cashew and seeds in a grinder to a puree.
Heat oil in a heavy based kadai or pan.
Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute till light pink.
Switch off the heat.
Transfer sauteed onion. garlic and ginger in a processor and process till you get fine puree. ( Maybe you'll need little water )
Turn on the heat, add pureed onion mixture in to same kadai and start cooking on a high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato puree and continuously cook the mixture.
Add chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander and cumin powder and salt.
After 2-3 minutes add cashew paste and keep cooking the mixture.
Turn the heat down and cook slowly till you see oil separating on side of the pan.
Add little water if gravy is too thick.
Add kasoori methi, cardamom and mace powder.
Let the gravy cook for 8-10 minutes.
Add coconut milk, garam masala and switch off the heat.
When ready to serve, heat the gravy once again add koftas, garnish with coriander and serve straight away.
Enjoy with roti, naan or plain paratha.






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1 comment:

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