Monday 13 October 2014

Plantain Kofta Curry

Normally plantains are used to make poriyal, podimaas, kootu and kuzhambu in Brahmin homes. If you have too many plantains at your disposal, you may end up making chips, bajji or kofta. So when I received several home grown – organic plantains from my cousin, I decided to make kofta curry for a change. Though plantain koftas can be served as a snack along with green chutney or tomato sauce, koftas cooked in gravy make a great accompaniment to chapatti or pulka.

For the koftas:
Plantain – small 3 no or large 2 no
Ginger – 1’ piece
Green chilli – 1-2 no (adjust to taste)
Bengal gram flour – 2 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – for deep frying

For the gravy:
Onions – 3 no, cubed
Tomatoes – 3 no cubed
Coriander powder – 4 teaspoons
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
Curds – 3 tablespoons
Coconut – grated, 1 tablespoon
Poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon
Kasuri methi/ dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tablespoons

Method: How to make koftas: Cut the plantains into halves. Place them in a microwave safe bowl. Add half a tumbler (100ml) of water and cover with a micro-safe lid. Cook in the oven for 3 minutes in micro-high. Remove from the microwave oven and allow it to cool. Once cool, discard the water, peel the skin and keep the cooked plantain halves in a bowl (Fig.1). You may alternatively boil plantains in sufficient water on the stove till they are half-cooked.

Fig.1: Cooked plantain halves
Grind green chillies and ginger into a smooth paste using a mixer- grinder. Add this paste, Bengal gram flour and salt to the cooked plantains. DO NOT add water. Mix them into firm dough. Divide the dough into 7-8 equal portions and shape them into koftas. You may shape koftas into balls, oblong pieces or flat patties as desired.

Heat oil in a kadai on medium heat and once hot, drop a small piece of kofta dough into the oil gently. If the oil is hot enough, the dough fries and rises to the surface of the oil. Now drop the koftas into the oil, 2 or 3 at a time and fry till they become golden brown in color on all sides (Fig.2). Remove from oil and place the fried koftas on paper napkins for the excess oil to get absorbed. Fry all the koftas in the same manner.

Fig.2: Fried koftas
How to make the gravy: Grind the onions and tomatoes into a fine paste using the mixer-grinder. Grind coconut and poppy seeds into a very fine paste separately. Beat the curds well. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and garam masala power. Mix well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, add the onion-tomato paste and cook on medium flame till the paste thickens and oil separates. Now add the curds mixture, salt and ¼ tumbler (50ml) of water. Mix well and bring it to boil. Reduce the fire and add the poppy paste. Mix well. Simmer for a minute. Now add the koftas and kasuri methi. Mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 3 minutes. Switch of the fire. Serve after 15 minutes with chapatti and salad.

Plantain Kofta Curry
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