Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bollywood Cooking - Mughlai Palak Malai Kofta

Another one of my favorite blogs What's for lunch, Honey is hosting the Monthy Mingle event and the theme for this month is Bollywood Cooking. The idea is to create a dish that is "dressed up" and fit for the red carpet! I thought about what I would cook that is a glamorous and rich dish and came up with Palak Malai Kofta in Mughlai gravy (Spinach and Cheese balls in a spicy gravy.)

One of my prized possessions, my "first" cookbook, is a diary of my mom's in which she has jotted down recipes when she took some cooking classes back in 1971, when she was in college. When I first started cooking, I used to follow those recipes exactly but now, I do feel confident enough in my cooking to use those recipes as a rough guideline and experiment with textures and flavors and do my own thing!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in my Mom's 1971 diary!

For the Koftas-
2 cups of baby spinach- roughly chopped, blanched and drained
3 tbsps corn starch
salt and red chilli powder to taste
1 cup of grated paneer
1 tbsp very finely chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp finely chopped green chillis
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cashew nuts
1/2 tsp chat masala
salt and red chilli powder to taste
oil for frying

For the Mughlai Gravy-
1 tbsp oil
2-3 black cardamoms
1 pinch cinnamon powder
1 pinch cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 chopped green chilli
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tbsp crushed cashew nuts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup water
1 tbsp chopped cilantro


Making the Palak Malai Koftas-

- Take the blanched and drained spinach leaves and mash them. Add corn starch, salt and red chilli powder and mix to make a dough like consistency
- Take the grated paneer, add the onions, cilantro, green chillis, cashew nuts, salt and chat masala and mix properly.
- Make small balls of the paneer mixture and keep aside.
- Oil the palm of your hand and take some spinach mix. Flatten it out, put the paneer ball in it and wrap the spinach around it to enclose the paneer completely in the spinach.
- Deep fry in hot oil and drain on paper towels, slice into halves and save.

Making the Mughlai gravy-

- Heat oil in a pan and the onions, garlic, ginger, green chillis and black cardamoms to it one after the other and stir till onions are slightly browned.
- Add the kasuri methi (fenugreek) and then add the tomato puree.
- Fry till oil separates out and then add the cinnamon powder, cumin powder, garam masala, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Add the cashew nuts also. Stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and 1 cup water and cook the gravy till it becomes thick and glossy.
- Put the koftas in the gravy (reserving a few for garnish) and let it simmer for about 5-6 minutes, till the koftas absorb all the flavors and become soft.
- Serve in a shallow platter, using the reserved koftas as a garnish to bring out the colors of the dish- the yellow of the gravy and the green envelope of the koftas with the white insides.
- Serve with naan or rotis.


MeetaK said...

This is glamorous alright and fit for any red carpet. Love the bright color and the use of lovely ingredients. Thanks for the entry!

Nupur said...

Gosh...this dish is just drop-dead gorgeous! I think you totally captured the glamour of rich curries.

Arfi Binsted said...

you must be molded those koftas really well the cheese didn't ooze out. great dish!

Medhaa said...

oh my god, this so wonderful and so right for the event.

Rajeev said...

.. am trying this out right now.. will let u know..

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Its indeed such glamorous..very eye-catching..following you.

Anonymous said...

That looks great.. Why dont find some more rare and awesome recipes from your great moms diary and post it here.. cant wait for more from you..