In case you are not familiar with this dish, malai kofta is a very popular Indian restaurant and homemade recipe. Traditionally minced meat, paneer cheese or vegetables are used to make the kofta balls, deep fried and dunked in a tasty curry sauce. I mean what’s not to love about meatballs dunked in a tasty sauce!
The tomato based curry sauce sauce is one our favorite. Use it as a template to add any vegetables, protein or legume. I simplified and made the sauce much leaner yet keeping the full flavor of the sauce. Simply pan frying to brown the kofta also helps cut out the unnecessary calories without compromising on the taste and texture.
If you can’t find tomato passata use canned tomato purée or fresh tomato.
Also these high protein kofta have seitan. Seitan is isolated wheat gluten that many people avoid. In that case use organic tofu and adjust the amount of chickpea flour to help bind the ingredients. You could also increase the amount of peas or choose any other vegetable you prefer. Sweet potatoes also works well.
The kofta veggie balls
- 1 can about 14 oz, drained and squeezed out green raw jackfruit
- 1 box about 230grams/ 8 oz, organic seitan drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 cup shelled organic peas, 250gms
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons chickpea flour also called besan
- Handful of cilantro chopped
- 1 green chilli or 1/2 chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons oil for browning
- For the curry
- 1 medium-sized onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon any neutral oil, I like avocado oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 inch piece ginger minced
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked for an hour ( use only if you like a richer flavor)
- 1. 5 cup tomato passata ( bottled tomato sauce)
- 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon hot cayenne powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon homemade or store brand good quality Garam masala (should include cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground coriander seeds, ground cumin seeds, black cardamom, if your Garam masala doesn’t have them, then add 1/4 teaspoon of individual ground spice)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom ( in addition to the Garam masala)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) gently rubbed between you palms
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1/2 cup water
For the Kofta balls
In a food processor mince the garlic and ginger. Add the remaining ingredients except oil and chickpea flour. Mix till it forms a soft mixture.
Transfer it into a large bowl. Add chickpea flour little by little till you get a firm but not hard dough. Just enough everything holds firmly. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest, preferably in the fridge.
Warm oil in a skillet and gently add one by one and pan fry till brown on all sides on medium heat. Set aside.
For the curry
Warm the oil in a sauce pan and add the sliced onion. Sauté till slightly brown around the edges. Take it off the heat.
In a high speed blender add the onions, garlic ginger, tomato sauce and paste, cashew if using, Garam masala, cayenne and blend till you get a smooth silky sauce.
Add it back to the pan and gently bring it back to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook the sauce for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water to get the right consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add the crushed dried fenugreek leaves and coconut cream.. Mix well.
Now gently add the kofta balls and heat through, taste. Take it off the heat and enjoy with your choice of carbs.