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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Paneer Kofta Curry

fried cheese balls paneer kofta

This Paneer Kofta in spicy gravy is my mom's recipe and is slightly different from my brocolli kofta.

Paneer is home-made cheese, usually no salt added, made from curdling milk with lemon juice.

Koftas are sort of like croquettes, usually shaped into small balls, deep fried and served in rich sauce. Koftas can be made with any favorite vegetable or minced meat.

Basically, chop or grate the veggie or paneer and squeeze out excess water, if any. Add some all-purpose flour or corn flour (I add chickpea flour sometimes which makes it a bit dense, like pakkoda) as a binding agent, so as to make a simple dough that can be shaped into balls. Deep fry in oil. Make a rich sauce or gravy and drop these koftas in, simmer gently and turn off heat. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving to make sure the koftas absorb some of the richness of the gravy.

paneer kofta curry

p.s: Koftas can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days before if not making the sauce right away to serve; or can be frozen for a few weeks before use. Just thaw lightly before adding to the sauce.

For Paneer Kofta:
1 cup crumbled paneer
¼ cup flour, more or less
salt to taste
1 tsp chilli powder

For the sauce/gravy:
dry toasting:
1 Tbsp white poppy seeds
1 star anise
2 cardomom pods
2 cloves
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1-2 indian bay leaves
2 2" piece of chinese/indian cinnamon bark
1/4 cup dry or fresh grated coconut
1-2 jalapenos or serrano
1" piece ginger, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup coconut milk (optional, use water if preferred)
2 Tbsp oil
Garnish: Spring onions, cilantro chopped

  1. For Kofta: Combine the paneer kofta ingredients and knead to a simple dough, and shape small balls roughly 1-2" diameter
  2. Deep fry in oil, drain excess oil, set aside
  3. For Curry/Sauce/Gravy:Dry toast the sauce/gravy spices, then grind them to fine powder, set aside
  4. Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients (except coconut milk), grind to a fine paste
  5. Heat oil in a pan, sauté the ground paste, add the water or coconut milk, some salt, and the powdered spices, simmer over medium-low heat
  6. When sauce is simmered to desired consistency, adjust flavors and drop in the paneer koftas
  7. Simmer for a few minutes more and turn off heat, garnish as desired, cover and allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving with rice or naan

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  • At 8:28 AM, Blogger Mandira said…

    The koftas looks so nice and crisp :) great idea for the paneer in the fridge!

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks, Mandira... that's how this came about actually - my mom had a ton of paneer in her fridge, and she was cutting them into cubes, frying them and adding them to dals and curries which got a bit boring, so, we used up the rest of the paneer this way :)

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger Parita said…

    Hmm looks so tasty and spicy, m drooling here!


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