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Paneer Kofta
This is yet another classic Punjabi recipe of North Indian cuisine. This paneer recipe has two separate parts, first make kofta with paneer and then make tomato-based gravy. Whether you are looking for paneer kofta recipe to serve it as a snack or as a curry with gravy for sumptuous meal, this easy recipe will satisfy your needs and excite your palate.
Ingredients For Kofta:
200 gm Paneer (cottage cheese), grated
2 medium Potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves
1½ tablespoons Corn Flour
6-8 Cashew nuts, chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Ingredients For Gravy:
3 medium Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Cashew nuts, soaked in water for 20 minutes
2 teaspoons crushed Garlic-Ginger
1 Green Chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium Onion, finely chopped or grated
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
2 Cloves
1/2 inch piece of Cinnamon Stick
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
1½ teaspoons Coriander Powder
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tablespoons Oil
3/4 cup Water
Salt to taste
Directions for Making Kofta of Paneer:
  1. Take grated paneer, grated potatoes, corn flour, green chilli, ginger, lemon juice, coriander leaves and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix them and make a smooth mixture.
  3. Grease your palms with oil and divide mixture into 6-8 equal portions. Give each portion a shape of ball. Take one ball and press a little between your palms and flatten it like pattie; put 2-3 pieces of cashew nuts in the center (this is a stuffing). Wrap them in from all sides and give round shape of ball. Prepare remaining stuffed kofta balls in similar way.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame. When it is medium hot, slide in 3-4 stuffed balls from the edge of frying pan and deep-fry over medium flame until golden brown and crisp. Make sure that oil is hot enough otherwise it may break and split open in the oil. Drain them and transfer them to a plate. Deep fry remaining stuffed balls.
Directions for Making Tomato based Gravy:
  1. Blanch tomatoes and make tomato puree. Grind soaked cashew nuts with 2 tablespoons water and make a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds, when they begin to crackle, add cloves and cinnamon. Sauté for approx. 30 seconds. Add crushed garlic-ginger and sauté for 10-20 seconds.
  3. Add chopped green chilli and onion, sauté until onion turns light brown; it will take approx. 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add tomato puree (prepared in step-1).
  5. Sauté until oil starts to separate, 3-4 minutes. Add cashew nut paste (prepared in step-1), turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, sugar and salt.
  6. Stir and cook for a minute.
  7. Add kasuri methi and 1/2 cup water. Cook the gravy for 4-5 minutes.
  8. Add prepared stuffed balls, mix well and turn off the flame.
  9. Transfer paneer kofta curry to a serving bowl and garnish with grated paneer.
Tips and Variations:
  • Deep-fry only 3 to 4 stuffed balls at a time otherwise they may break while frying.
  • Corn flour works as a binding agent in making kofta. So you must add it. However, you can use arrowroot as a substitute of it.
  • You can use poppy seeds or watermelon seeds instead of cashew nuts to make a white creamy paste.
  • Take extra care while sliding in stuffed balls in hot oil so that hot oil does not spill out and does not burn your skin accidentally.
Taste: Delicately spicy and mild sweet.
Serving Ideas: It is an excellent standalone snack when served with tomato sauce or green chutney. Paneer koftas soaked in tomato gravy can be served as a main curry with Indian breads like butter naan, paratha, roti or steamed rice for lunch or dinner.

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