I think malai kofta is one of the most favored dishes in the Indian cuisine. A classic North Indian dish, where deep fried cottage cheese dumplings are simmered in tomato and onion gravy which is flavored with saffron and topped with cream. A dish can't get any richer than this can it? To me malai kofta is much more than all this. It is a dish a that pampers my senses. A dish that can be rightfully called as "sinful indulgence"
There was a time when I thought that I could have this dish every other day. During my newly wed days, I used to make malai kofta every weekend and butter naan to accompany this dish. But after the birth of Purvi, we have consciously switched to a healthier life style. Yes, we do indulge in rich moghlai dishes once in a while when we hit the restaurants but if I have to make a Moghlai dish at home, I try to adopt a healthier cooking method. So here it is. My version of malai kofta. But without the oil, cream and a healthier spinach gravy instead of the onion and tomato gravy.
I have shallow fried the koftas in the paniyaram pan instead of the deep frying. And I have not used milk instead of cream. Personally, I was very happy with this dish. Even the kiddo lapped this dish up without any complaints. But the "connoisseur of good food" (read as S) was not all that pleased. He said that the dish was just about OK. But then this opinion is from a person who doesn't like anything that is out of the ordinary. So I guess you win some and you lose some.
On the whole, I thought that this was a little different but a luscious dish none the less. So if you are looking for a guilt free, wholesome and yet a scrumptious dish then this recipe is worth a try.
Bread and paneer kofta in spinach sauce Recipe
Preparation time: 25min
cooking time: 20min
For the Koftas:
Paneer- 1/4 cup, crumbled
Potato- 1 med, boiled, peeled and mashed
Bread- 2 slices, crust removed
Corn flour- 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 tsps, finely chopped
For the gravy:
Spinach- 250gms, blanched
Onion- 1 med, blanched
Cashew nuts- 10-12 soaked for an hour
Green chili- 1
Tomato- 1 small, blanched and pureed
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seed powder- 1/2tsp
Salt- to taste
Milk- 1 cup
Garam masala- 1/4tsp
Ginger- 1" piece
Garlic- 2 cloves
Capsicum- 1 small
Skimmed milk powder- 2tsp, mixed in 1tbsp to make a paste (optional)
Make a powder of
Cinnamon- 1" piece
For the koftas:
- Dip the bread slices in water for a few seconds. squeeze and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread slices along with paneer and mashed potatoes, corn flour and mix.
- Add the salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and the chopped coriander and mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 12-14 equal portions and shape them into lime sized balls and set aside.
- Heat the paniyaram pan and add quarter tsp of oil in each cavity. Place the prepared kofta in the cavity and fry on a low flame till completely brown on all sides.
- Once done remove from heat and drain the koftas on absorbent paper. Repeat the procedure for the remaining koftas.
For the gravy:
- Combine the blanched spinach, onion, green chili and the soaked cashew nuts in a blender jar and blend till the mixture is smooth and keep aside.
- Make a paste of the the ginger, garlic and capsicum in a mortar and pestle and set aside
- Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic capsicum paste and fry for two min or till the raw smell goes.
- Add the ground spinach paste and fry for 2min more. Stir in the tomato puree and fry for a min.
- Stir in the turmeric, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and one cup of water and cook for 3-4 min more.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the milk and the garam masala. Allow the mixture to simmer for 4-5min till the mixture thickens. Take off the heat and set aside.
- Heat ghee in another pan and add the cinnamon-clove powder and fry for a few secs. Remove from heat and add the tempering to the spinach gravy and mix well.
- Just before serving, Place the koftas in the spinach gravy and gently heat the mixture.
- Take off the heat and drizzle the milk powder mixture over the koftas and serve immediately.