I made these koftas with simple ingredients. I wanted a sort of crunchy paneer taste, and then I wanted a contrasting semi-sweet sauce to tease the buds and satisfy all the senses – a medium to hot curry sauce to accompany these wonderful and unique koftas. Then a mild vegetable such as spinach, I thought, would be ideal not to overburden the system. A slight twist, with a sweet and savoury mix, creating a very exotic and unique delicious curry – ideal for creating a special environment for love, warmth and contentment. Added to which, this recipe is relatively easy to make.
HOW TO MAKE THE KOFTA BALLS
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup of mixed nuts (cashews & almonds work well)
- ½ tsp curry powder
- salt (it will need some, otherwise it will taste like a dessert)
- 3 tbsp Tofutti plain cream cheese
- 1 tbsp parsley or coriander, finely chopped
- the zest of 1 lime
- the juice of ½ lime
Place the nuts in a blender, and blend till rough crumbs form. Then add the chickpeas, and pulse again a few times. Now add the remainder of the ingredients, and pulse for a few moments – you want a very thick consistency, akin to a big dough ball. Place this ball onto a lightly floured surface.
Next, pour some oil in a little saucer, and rub the palms of your hands in the oil. Then pinch around an inch and a half of the chickpea mix, roll into a ball with the palms of your hands, then place the ball on a plate. Repeat this process until you have made approximately 13-14 balls, making sure they are a little oily in order that the pistachio and rose coating adhere to the balls.
INGREDIENTS AND METHOD FOR KOFTA BALLS COATING
- ¼ cup of unsalted pistacchio nuts
- 1 tsp dried rose edible petals
Place the above in a coffee grinder or processor, and process until crumbs are formed, then remove and set aside.
Next step is take each ball and immerse it into the pistachio and rose mix – turn it around quite a bit, so you get a good coating all over. Place each coated ball onto a greaseproof surface – best to use greaseproof paper, and grease that a little too.
Place all the coated balls in a hot oven – just under 200ºC degrees – for 25 minutes or so until they turn golden, but since ovens vary, do keep an eye on them. Once they are ready, take them out of the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp cardamon granules or powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp tikka paste
- 2 cups of spinach (frozen thawed will do fine)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup of dairy-free cream – use either soya or other of your choice
- 3 tbsp agave nectar syrup
- salt to taste (will need 1 or 2 tsp)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- 1 tsp natural red food colouring, or the dried version, such as the following link : http://www.souschef.co.uk/natural-red-food-colour.html
- 1 tsp rose essence
Pulse the onion and garlic in a processor. Meanwhile heat some olive or coconut oil in a saucepan, and fry the onion and garlic, mixing all the time. When all turns transparent, add all the spices, and continue to mix – I suggest you add a little more oil at this point.
Next, add in the remaining ingredients, except for the cream. Lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it won’t stick or burn.
Finally, add the cream (coconut and other), and leave the sauce uncovered until it reduces and thickens. Don’t allow it to boil or separate – you’ll need to keep the heat low to avoid this.
When it’s ready, leave it uncovered until it cools down, then cover it.
HOW TO SERVE
Serve on a bed of basmati rice – place your cooked basmati rice on an oven-proof serving dish, add the sauce in the centre, and the balls around the edges of the rice, making sure to squeeze plenty of fresh lime juice on top of them too.
Voila, a feast to the eye, soul and palette.
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