Malai Kofta

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mal 20/06/2018

What do you do when you don’t look at the packet properly and buy a block of paneer instead of feta? Get creative – The Greek salad can wait!

Delicately spiced paneer and nut stuffed potato dumplings are simmered in a velvety smooth and creamy gravy in this malai kofta recipe. It has a few stages but is very simple and totally worth the effort. You can use shop bought garam masala but I highly recommend taking the time to make your own as the flavours are so much more alive and layered.

Serves 2-4 depending on your appetite

Ingredients:

For Kofta:

  • 200g potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 100g paneer
  • 10 cashews
  • 1 Tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For Gravy:

  • 200g tomatoes
  • 150g onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp green chili paste
  • 1/ 2 cup fresh cream (malai)
  • 2 Tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

For making garam masala:

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 cashews

Instructions:

  1. Place the boiled and mashed potato in a mixing bowl and add the grated paneer into it. Now add all other ingredients and mix them well. Add some corn flour for binding so they don’t break up when frying.
  2. Make small balls out of the mixture by rolling in your hands. Around 15 balls can be made.
  3. Now coat the balls with a little more corn flour.
  4. Heat the oil on medium heat and deep-fry all koftas until a dark golden brown colour.
  5. To make the garam masala spice mix, take all dry spices and blend in a spice blender or pestle and mortar to make a fine powder.
  6. Make a puree from the tomatoes. I use a stick blender but you could just use passata for time.
  7. In a frying pan, heat the ghee, add chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Then add garlic, ginger and green chili paste.
  8. Cook for another 3 minutes then add the homemade garam masala powder. Let it cook in ghee with onions. Cook it for 2 minutes.
  9. Then add tomato puree and cook until the majority of the water contents evaporate. (If using passata, the water won’t evaporate so add less water in the next stage).
  10. Now, add half a cup fresh cream or malai, and red chili powder (optional), salt and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  11. The gravy is ready. Add koftas to the sauce when ready to serve.
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with Indian roti or paratha.
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Polish Krokiety

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croq 17/06/2018

These Polish krokiety are full of a tasty pork and mushroom paté. Traditionally they can be made with sauerkraut and mushroom or cheese and mushroom fillings but this version is my personal favourite. They get their name from the crispy exterior that is similar to potato croquettes. This teamed with velvety paté, chunks of mushroom and soft pancake is a delight to eat.

Shout out to my amazing housemate, Nat for her mum’s recipe.

Makes 8

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 150-200g pork and mushroom paté
  • ½ egg, beaten (use the other half in the pancake batter)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pancake batter:

  • 5 heaped Tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg + ½ egg leftover from filling
  • Milk, enough to make a batter the consistency of double cream

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

Method:

For the filling:

  1. Mix the paté in a small bowl with half the beaten egg.
  2. Season and set aside.

For the pancakes:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs and flour and gradually add milk then mix until batter is smooth and there are no lumps. The batter should be runny. If it is not, add a little more milk.
  2. Over medium-high heat, warm a medium frying pan and brush it lightly with vegetable oil or butter.
  3. Pour ½ cup of batter into the frying pan and quickly distribute it over the surface of the pan. You can do this by tilting the pan back & forth until you have a large pancake with no gaps.
  4. As soon as the batter cooks and becomes firm, turn it over. Wait 5-10 seconds and remove it from the frying pan.
  5. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Place on a plate and set aside. This should make roughly 8 pancakes.

To assemble:

  1. Spread each nalesnik (Polish for pancake) with a tablespoon of paté filling and fold into rectangular shaped cubes.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare separate bowl or plate with breadcrumbs and season.
  4. Cover each rolled crepe with egg and then breadcrumbs.
  5. Fry each krokiet in hot oil (just enough to barely cover the base of the frying pan) on each side until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the pan onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain before serving.