Malai Kofta


Malai Kofta

Veggie balls are made from shredded squash that’s been seasoned with fennel, coriander and red pepper flakes for a little kick. A nutty curry sauce of onion, garlic, ginger, cashews, tomato and green chilies complement the savory squash dumplings in this healthy spin on an Indian classic. This recipe comes to us from Prerna of Indian Simmer.

Serves 6

For the veggie balls:

  • a little vegetable oil, for preparing the baking sheet
  • 1 medium size squash of choice, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • a little corn flour, for binding the dough
  • salt, to taste

For the gravy:

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 8 cashews
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup onion paste*
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste*
  • 1 tablespoons ginger paste*
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 green chili peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 6 coriander leaves, for garnish

*prepared onion, garlic and ginger paste are sold in jars in the spice section of many grocery stores and Indian shops, but if time allows we suggest making your own by following the links above.

To make the veggie dumplings:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a light coating of vegetable oil.

Place the grated squash, red pepper flakes and crushed fennel and coriander seeds together in a large bowl. Mix with your hands, season with salt to taste and add enough corn flour so that the mixture binds together.

Shape the veggie mixture into balls the size of limes. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops and golden brown. Flip the veggie balls over with a spatula, and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

To make the gravy:

Grind the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, cumin and cinnamon together in a coffee grinder until it reaches the consistency of powder. Set aside.

Soak cashews in milk for about an hour and 45 minutes and then mash them with a fork to make a paste.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger and garlic paste to the pan. Cook the pastes for about 15 minutes or until the paste turns brown.

Season the sauce with the turmeric and salt to taste. The oil will should separating when you add the salt.

Add coriander powder, tomato puree and chili to the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes more, or until all the water from the tomato is gone.

Place the cottage cheese in the pan and stir constantly until the cheese dissolves. Stir in the cashew paste.

Season the gravy with the group spice mix. Mix thoroughly. Pour in 2 1/2 cups water, turn heat down to medium low, and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the gravy reaches desired consistency.

Add the veggie balls, turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil to warm the veggie balls. Garnish with a coriander leaf per serving and enjoy with naan or atop rice.

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Nutrition Information

Malai Kofta

Servings per Recipe: 6

Amount per Serving

Calories:  157.2

Calories from Fat:  89

Total Fat:  10.6g

Saturated Fat:  1.5g

Cholesterol:  1mg

Sodium:  52.3mg

Potassium:  475.4mg

Carbohydrates:  13.4g

Dietary Fiber:  3g

Protein:  4.1g

Sugars:  5.5g

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