Thursday, 6 March 2014

Kanchkalar Kofta

Almost every day after work, MrD would make a slight detour to a small stall run by a husband-and-wife, who made the most delicious fried plantain. Well, that was many years ago while we were in Miri, Sarawak. I can't remember the last time we had fried plantain but the sight of a box full of them in an asian grocer made me want to recreate those tea-time treats we were so fond of.

Unfortunately, the plantains bought were not to our liking; they were tasteless. So instead of frying them in batter as intended, I made them into these balls of deliciousness - I remembered having them at a friend's party in Copenhagen and I simply love them...

Kanchkalar Kofta
A Bengali Vegetarian Kofta dish

For the kofta;
1 large plantain
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp chickpea flour
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
salt and black pepper
oil, for deep-frying

Cut the plantain into six pieces. Boil in 4 cups of water with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder on low to medium flame for about 30 minutes till soft. Turn the heat off and drain the water.
Once cooled, peel the skin and mash.
Add all the ingredients apart from the oil into the mashed plantain and mix thoroughly.
Take heaped teaspoons of the kofta mixture and using wet hands, roll into small balls.
Heat the oil in a frying pann over medium-high heat and fry the koftas in batches for about 5 minutes, turning a few times, until browned and cooked through.

For the gravy;
1 small cinnamon bark
1 cardamom 
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste 
1/2 chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder 
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cashew paste (soak about 10 cashewnuts in hot water and grind to a paste)
1 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tsp oil
chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Heat oil over medium heat
Add cinnamon, cardamon and onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened and golden.
Stir in tomatoes, green chilli, ginger and the spices, except garam masala, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cashew paste and 100 ml water and simmer for a further 15 minutes until the gravy reduced to a thick, rich sauce.
Sprinkle garam masala and turn the heat off.
To serve, spoon gravy over koftas, followed by some creme fraiche and chopped coriander leaves.

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