Friday, June 19, 2015

Potato and Fenugreek Kofta Curry


Vegetables are dear to my heart. I make sure there will always be something in that vein at mealtimes. Mainly for my taste buds. I make these bite size koftas with very little effort. For my first attempt I follow the recipe and deep fry koftas. I wise up the next time. Shallow frying the koftas results in a lighter patty. This pleases me no end. Less fatty calories is always a plus. 

Potatoes are usually boiled in their skins. To shorten the cooking process, I peel, cube and boil them in half the time. They do need a good drain. Then they go back into the pan they were boiled in as the heated pan dries them out even more. I just love, love, love fenugreek leaves or methi, as it called in India. These green as slightly bitter tasting, but full of vitamins. You pick the leaves off the stems, which should not be eaten. Washed and rinsed, as they almost always are a little sandy, I mince them and add to the potatoes. After adding the cornstarch and seasonings, potatoes and methi is mashed roughly. Golf ball sized portions are slightly flattened and shallow fried. The sauce comes together as onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes simmer away in a healthy dose of spice. Once it becomes a smooth paste, I add a little yogurt to loosen it up. Koftas slip into the gravy just before we eat. The dish bubbles gently for a few minutes as I get the rest of the dinner on the table.

Serves 4

4 medium sized Potatoes ( my favorites are Yukon Gold )
3/4 cup Fenugreek (Methi) leaves
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1-2 green Chiles
1 heaping tablespoon Cornstarch 
2 + 3 teaspoons Canola Oil
2 large Onions
3-4 Garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated Ginger
2 large Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric 
1/2-1 teaspoon Chile powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Yogurt
Cilantro to garnish

Peel, wash and cube potatoes. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Cook till done, between 7-10 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to warm pot so they dry out.

Wash methi leaves well as they tend to be a little sandy or gritty.

Slice finely and add to potatoes.

Mince green chiles very finely and add to veggies.

Season with salt and cornstarch. Use your hands and mix well. 

Form into golf ball sized portions. Flatten each portion slightly.

Heat a nonstick saucepan and drizzle a scant teaspoon of oil in pan.

Add patties to hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. You might have to fry the patties in batches.

Let them turn golden brown on one side , then flip and repeat on the other. Keep aside on a sheet pan when done.

Peel and chop onions finely.

Sliver garlic cloves.

Chop tomatoes into small pieces.

Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan.

Add onions to hot oil and fry till golden brown.

Add slivered garlic and grated ginger and saute for 30 seconds.

Tomatoes go in next. Let them cook till soft and pulpy. Saute often while doing this.

Season with turmeric, chile powder, garam masala and salt. Saute so spices get mixed in with onions and tomatoes. The gravy should look smooth. Add 1/2 cup water to help it along. Cover saucepan and let flavors marry for a few minutes. 

Whisk yogurt so there are no lumps. Add a tablespoon at a time to the gravy, making sure to mix each spoonful well.

Slip koftas into warm gravy just before serving. Let koftas simmer for a few minutes. They pair well with chapattis or rice.

The koftas have absorbed spices from the gravy. I break a kofta, fork it along with rice, and my mouth revels in these homey tastes. This is not sophistication on a plate. Just a rustic version of an old favorite.