Spinach and Paneer Koftas

Delicious Indian dumplings with a sauce flavoured with cardamom and fenugreek.

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves24
  • DifficultyMedium

For the Koftas

250g grated paneer
2 large potatoes cooked, peeled and grated
5cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
3 small green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ajowain/carom seeds
100g spinach leaves finely shredded
Oil for deep frying

For the batter

100g gram flour (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp ajowain or carom seeds
75-100ml of water
1/2 tsp salt

For the sauce

1kg of tomatoes cut into quarters
2 1/2cm piece of ginger, grated
3 green cardamom pods
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tsp chilli powder
1 heaped tsp dried fenugreek leaves
2 tbsp chilled butter, diced
100ml single cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
A pinch of sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped

To make the koftas:

Add all the kofta ingredients except the oil and spinach in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Shape into little balls the size of golf balls.

To make the batter:

Put the gram flour, ajowain, salt in a separate bowl and make a well in the centre.

Gradually stir in the water until it becomes a smooth thick batter.

Spread the shredded spinach out onto a flat tray.

Dip the koftas into the batter and then roll them in the spinach to form a coating. Keep aside.

To make the sauce:

Put the tomatoes in a large saucepan. Cook and cover over a medium heat until they begin to soften.

Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf.

Bring to the boil. Simmer until the tomatoes completely disintegrate.

Remove and liquidise in a blender. Strain if necessary, pour into a clean saucepan.

Add the chilli powder and fenugreek leaves and simmer for ten minutes until slightly thickened.

Add the butter a little at a time stirring constantly. When the sauce turns glossy add the cream and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Season with salt, stir in the garam masala and add a pinch of sugar to bring out the flavours.

Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or a deep saucepan until hot.

Add the koftas and fry for 1 1/2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the sauce.

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