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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Zucchini Eggplant Kofta in Spicy Beet Sauce

kofta eggplant zucchini beet sauce curry indian

Koftas are fried (or baked) vegetable balls that are usually served in a rich curry. Fusion cuisine being my signature, I love to pair a variety of koftas with non-traditional curries, with flavors borrowed from ingredients around the world - or, at least the ones I can find in my local markets.

Rather than the traditional balls, I went with patties this time, and rather than frying, just baked the 'koftas' before dunking them in a pot of gently simmering beet sauce. The cooked patties (not dunked in sauce) can be saved in the fridge for a couple of days or can be frozen for up to a week.

Zucchini is full of water, as is eggplant, so, I try to squeeze hard to get as much liquid out of grated vegetables before adding in the flours and other ingredients, which gives better control over the dough for shaping.

Any of the other sauces from the kofta collection here would be fine with these, especially the creamy chard sauce. The koftas do tend to get soggy and disintegrate if left for too long in the sauce.

Zucchini Eggplant Koftas

kofta eggplant zucchini

For the Koftas:
½ cup finely grated zucchini, squeezed dry
½ cup finely chopped eggplant
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup chickpea flour
cup rice flour
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground smoked paprika
1 tsp salt (less if preferred, adjust to taste)

1 to 2 Tbsp oil for greasing the pan


  1. Pre-heat oven to 420° F
  2. Squeeze out as much of the water from the vegetables as possible, and combine them with the rest of the ingredients to make a reasonably cohesive dough that can be shaped into small 2 inch diameter patties not more than half an inch thick; add a few drops of water at a time if needed
  3. Place the patties in a greased roasting pan and drizzle some oil on top
  4. Bake in the 420°F oven for about 20-25 minutes till the patties seem firm and done, meanwhile mak the sauce
  5. Remove from oven, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes; slide them into the simmering sauce just before serving

Spicy Beet Sauce
The beet sauce can be mild or spicy - adjust the amount of sambal used. Also, can be made creamy by stirring in some evaporated milk at the end; or even creamier if sour cream is stirred in, off heat, just before serving.

If not using evaporated milk or sour cream (I usually don't), the sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for a couple of days. Bring to a gentle simmer for the koftas. I've used this sauce to smother the turkey meatballs, or even served it as a dipping sauce for turkey croquettes.

For the Spicy Beet Sauce:
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups shredded raw beets, peeled
¼ medium yellow onion, finely diced
½ cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
½ tsp brown sugar

Combine the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine sauce consistency. Pour it into a sauce pan and bring it to a gentle simmer, adding water if needed for the desired sauce thickness.

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