North: Kofta Kebabs In Spicy Cream Sauce (Malai Kofta) – Hot and Spicy

Stephen Ceideburg KOFTA: 2 lg Russet potatoes, boiled,

-peeled, mashed 1/2 c Green peas, fresh or frozen

1/4 c Shredded Cheddar cheese

1 Fresh hot green chile,

-chopped 1/2 ts Ground coriander

1 ts Cumin seeds

1 1/2 ts Salt

1/4 c Chopped cashew nuts

1 tb Raisins

3/4 c Chick-pea flour or corn

-flour (see note) 1 c Water

Mild vegetable oil for deep -frying SPICY CREAM SAUCE: 8 Whole cashew nuts

2 Whole cloves

1 pn Nutmeg

1/2 Inch cinnamon stick

1 Garlic clove, peeled

2 tb Unsalted butter

1 lg Onion, grated

1 pn Turmeric

2 ts Paprika

1/2 ts Ground coriander

1/2 ts Cayenne pepper

1 ts Salt

1 c Half-and-half

1 c Water

1/2 c Heavy cream

2 tb Chopped fresh cilantro

Kofta, a classic dish of Moghul origin, is one of the most important preparations of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Traditionally, koftas are simmered in a delicate sauce and turned into a curried main dish. These kebabs are wonderful served as cocktail appetizers with a yogurt or fruity dipping sauce. The kofta: Combine potatoes, peas, cheese, chile, coriander, cumin, salt, cashews and raisins. Form mixture into 1-inch balls. Make a batter with the flour and water. Season with pinch of salt, if desired. Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan. Dip balls into batter to coat completely, and deep-fry until brown (do not crowd), about 4 minutes. Set aside. (If you want the kebabs to remain firm, put them on a heated serving platter, and tent with foil. To serve, bring cream sauce to a boil and pour over kebabs.) The sauce: Grind cashews, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic with a little water to make a fine paste. Set aside. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until wilted; stir in ground paste and cook 2 minutes. Add turmeric, paprika, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir in half-and-half and water. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. (May be prepared 2 days ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated.) Stir in cream and kofta kebabs. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Note: Chick-pea flour (also called besan) may be purchased at Indian grocery stores. PER SERVING: 645 calories, 15 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 43 g fat (19 g saturated), 86 mg cholesterol, 1,450 mg sodium, 8 g fiber. Laxmi Hiremath writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/24/92.





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