Palak kofta Curry is a classical dish from North Indian cuisine, which has shallow fried spinach dumplings in onion and tomato based spicy gravy. There are two main steps to make this curry at home-1.Making Koftas, 2. Making Gravy. You can prepare either simple kofta or stuffed kofta as per your preference. In this curry recipe, stuffed koftas are prepared; they have a crispy outer layer of cooked spinach and gram flour based mixture and stuffing of delicious paneer mixture. Gravy is prepared from onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts and other aromatic spices. Enjoy spinach koftas as a standalone snack or with tomato based gravy as a curry. Palak kofta curry tastes best with many types of Indian breads like paratha, chapatti, tandoori roti, naan, kulcha, etc.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 servings
|Ingredients For Koftas:|
|2 cups chopped Spinach (palak) (100 gm or 1 bunch)|
|4 tablespoons Gram Flour (besan)|
|1/2 cup grated or crumbled Paneer|
|1 Green Chilli, finely chopped|
|1/4 teaspoon Cumin Seeds|
|A pinch of Cardamom Powder, optional|
|2 tablespoons Cornflour (cornstarch), for coating of koftas|
|Salt to taste|
|Ingredients For Gravy:|
|1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds|
|1 medium Onion, finely chopped|
|2 cloves of Garlic, chopped|
|1/2 inch Ginger, chopped|
|5-6 Cashew Nuts|
|2 medium Tomatoes, finely chopped (3/4 cup)|
|1½ teaspoon Cumin-Coriander Powder|
|1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder|
|1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi|
|2 (1+1) tablespoons Oil|
|1½ cup Water or as needed|
|Salt to taste|
Directions for making koftas:
- Heat 1-teaspoon oil in a kadai/pan over medium flame. Add 4 tablespoons gram flour and roast it over low flame until nice aroma releases and it turns light golden in color. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool at room temperature.
- Separate spinach leaves by removing stem and wash them in running water to discard any dirt or impurities. Drain the excess water from spinach and finely chop it. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same kadai/pan over medium flame. Add 2 cups finely chopped spinach.
- Cook until almost moisture is evaporated from spinach.
- Transfer cooked spinach to the same bowl having gram flour.
- Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Spinach mixture for kofta is ready.
- Take grated/crumbled paneer, 1 finely chopped green chilli, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, a pinch of cardamom powder and salt in a bowl.
- Mix well. Paneer mixture for kofta is ready.
- Divide both mixtures (spinach and paneer) into 6 equal portions and make round shaped balls from each of them.
- Take one ball of spinach mixture and flatten it to make round shaped puri having 2-3 inch diameter using your hand. Place one ball of paneer mixture in the center of the puri.
- Cover it with the sides of flattened spinach mixture puri. Seal it in the center and again give a round shape to make kofta.
- Take 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) or arrowroot powder in a plate. Roll the raw kofta in the cornflour.
- Prepare all the remaining koftas in similar way.
- Heat the appe pan over medium flame. Add few drops of oil in each mould and place the kofas in it. When the bottom surface turns golden brown, drizzle few drops of oil over it and flip them. Flip and cook unil kotas turn crispy and golden brown from all sides. You can also deep fry or shallow fry the koftas in oil until they turn crispy and golden brown instead of cooking them in appe pan.
- Transfer them to a plate. Palak Koftas are ready.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan (kadai) over medium flame. Add cumin seeds; when they start to turn golden brown, add finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns light pink in color. Add cashew nuts, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add finely chopped tomatoes and salt.
- Sauté until tomatoes turn soft. Turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for few minutes.
- Transfer mixture to the small jar of a mixer grinder and grind until smooth paste. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium flame. Add prepared paste, cumin-coriander powder and red chilli powder.
- Mix well and sauté until oil starts to separate.
- Add 1½ cups of water (more or less to make thin or thick gravy respectively).
- Mix well and cook covered until you get the desired consistency of gravy.
- Taste the gravy for salt and add more if required. Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi and mix well.
- Add koftas (either halved or whole) and turn off the flame. Palak Kofta curry is ready for serving.
Tips and Variations:
- If you are deep frying the koftas instead of shallow frying them, be careful while sliding them into the hot oil because oil may spill out on the skin, so slide them slowly and one by one.
- Instead of making stuffed koftas, you can mix the paneer and spinach mixture and make koftas.
- Boiled and mashed potato can be used instead of paneer to make koftas.
- Add koftas to the gravy just before serving and cook the mixture for 2-minutes after adding them.
- For variation, make the green gravy of palak paneer curry instead of making red gravy for this curry.
Taste: Spicy with mild crispy koftas
Serving Ideas: It can be served as a curry with roti, chapati, butter naan and steamed rice in lunch or dinner. Spicy and crispy koftas can also be served alone as a snack with tomato sauce or sweet date and tamarind chutney (khajur-imli ki chutney).