Artichoke 'Kofta' in a Creamy Tomato Makhani Sauce

By • May 7, 2011 • 23 Comments

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Author Notes: During the course of reading through Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's latest magnum opus 'How to cook Indian', I came across a couple of north Indian recipes that appeared to completely omit a crucial ingredient, viz 'garam masala'.
In one of the recipes, The gravy was a rich indulgent makhani (buttery), which as the name suggests (in hindi), is made with a lot of butter & cream. what was interesting about this dish is that there was no 'garam masala' (the mandatory spice blend in almost all North Indian dishes) at all... instead in its place, just cardamom & mace. When I asked Chef Kapoor about this at a book signing event a month ago, his simple reply was.. 'I was just trying out something new & it worked great!' which is absolutely in line with this foodie passion of mine.
Taking this approach of Chef Kapoor, I took his gravy recipe one step further and paired it with a 'new' vegetable, another wonderful candidate for Indian food, the baby artichoke. the artichoke is incorporated in a kofta (meatball, only in this case its vegetarian) - Panfusine
Panfusine

Food52 Review: What an incredible fusion of tastes and textures. The spicing is expert -- I was afraid it would be very spicy but it was just the perfect amount of heat. The Kofta are beautifully spiced and the ricotta and the baby artichoke work beautifully together. (I had to add an additional tablespoon of garbanzo flour for the Kofta to hold together in the oil after the first one fell apart.) The Makhani sauce is so smooth and so creamy and wonderfully satisfying -- it goes perfectly with the Kofta. This recipe is a wonderful way to utilize baby artichokes. Delicious. Iā€™d call it comfort food at its best. - sdebrango
sdebrango

Serves 4

Creamy 'Makhani' Sauce

  • 1 Large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup broken cashew nuts
  • 1-2 teaspoon red chilli or cayenne pepper powder (adjust as per personal taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5 pods cardamom
  • 1/2 blade mace ( the orange colored outer frill on a nutmeg)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup half & half or light cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons lightly toasted 'kasoori' methi' (dessicated fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Combine the onion, chili powder & cashew nuts and grind to a smooth paste.
  2. Heat the oil & ghee in a frying pan & add the cardamom & mace, Saute till fragrant. Add the garlic & saute for ~ 1 minute.
  3. Add the onion/ cashew paste & saute till the paste emits a fragrant aroma & the raw onion smell has disappeared.
  4. Add the tomatoes & salt, cover & cook on a medium flame till cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if the mix appears dry. You may blend this paste in a food processor & strain before moving to the next step if you prefer a smooth textured gravy.
  5. Lower the heat, add the unsalted butter to the tomato gravy, stirring well to evenly combine the ingredients. and let the flavors combine under a closed lid.
  6. Add the toasted kasoori methi & honey. Combine & cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Finish by adding the half & half or light cream, cook briefly for ~ 2 minutes. Take off the heat & set aside.

Artichoke Kofta (meatballs)

  • 7-8 fresh baby artichokes (to yield about 1/2 a cup of finely chopped prepared artichoke)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 scallion finely chopped (light green & white parts)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
  • 1-2 deseeded minced green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon besan (garbanzo bean flour)
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Using a small paring knife, trim off the leathery outer leaves, exposing the closed part of the baby artichoke. There really is no choke within these so you do not need to scoop out the center.
  2. Cut off the top half of the artichoke retaining only the pale yellow base.
  3. Dice this soft edible part of the artichoke and drop into acidulated water (water with the juice of 1 lemon added) Prior to combining with the other ingredients for the kofta, remove the water & mince into small bits. (use 1/2 a cup of this for the kofta recipe)
  4. Combine all the ingredients to form a thick mixture. using a cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), roll into a ball & flatten into discs.
  5. Heat oil in a cast iron pan or wok. When it gets hot, deep fry the koftas in batches on medium heat till golden brown on both sides (~ 2 minutes per side). Remove with a spider skimmer or slotted spoon & place on paper towels.
  6. Add the koftas to the warm makhni gravy & gently immerse completely in the gravy.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chopped cilantro & a dash of cream.
  8. Serving suggestion: Serve warm with Plain Basmati rice.
Jump to Comments (23)

Tags: decadent, indian, rich, sauce, Spring, Vegetarian

Comments (23) Questions (0)

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almost 2 years ago Kristen W.

WOW was that sauce delicious! Adapted it to a non-vegetarian meatball and it worked beautifully -- looking forward to trying the dish as written. thank you!

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almost 2 years ago Panfusine

Wow, thats awesome! Thank you so much!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations panfusine I totally enjoyed your recipe it was amazing. I invited a very picky vegetarian friend to eat it with me and he fell in love with it. He is a vegetarian who doesn't like veggies he had never had an artichoke before he is hooked.

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

Wow, thank you for the rousing validation of the dish. So glad you enjoyed it as much as we did! I've previously never had artichokes other than those canned offerings, but one session with these babies & I was totally hooked as well!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have a question on the fenugreek "kasoori methi" what is the difference between this and regular dried fenugreek. I always use the dried stuff in middle eastern recipes is this very different I am not familiar with it. Do you have a source for this I am in Brooklyn/NYC

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

By regular dried fenugreek, not sure if you're referring to the dried leaves or the fenugreek seeds. not too familiar with middle eastern cuisine.
Kasoori methi is the hindi name for the dried leaves. They're available in any Indian grocery store packaged in a bright yellow box with images of leaves that kinda resemble clover. The brand name is MDH.
The seeds will not work in this recipe..
Hope this helps!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You answered my question, I have the dried leaves not the seeds so that will work for this recipe, Now I have to find Mace leaves blade mace. Thanks can't wait to taste it.

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over 3 years ago mamas scratch house

I will take this recipe.
Artichoke 'Kofta' in a creamy tomato makhani Sauce
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over 3 years ago gingerroot

This looks and sounds really amazing, Panfusine! I love artichokes and making kofta out of them is brilliant.

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum! What a great idea. This sounds mindblowingly flavorful (the good kind of mind blowing).

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

thanks fiveandspice!

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over 3 years ago VanessaS

Wow, this looks really delicious. Can't wait to try it!

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

Thanks, just fell in love with fresh artichokes with this dish..

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over 3 years ago kmartinelli

I love the idea of artichoke kofta, and makhani is one of my favorites. Can't wait to try this!

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

Thanks kmartinelli, loved your fresh almond salad recipe, Still have a faint but fond memory of having these in New Delhi with a touch of 'Chaat Masala'

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a beautiful recipe, looks absolutely delicious. The Artichoke Kofta nestled in that Makhani sauce is a real vision. I have been looking for recipe's for vegetarian patty's or meatballs and I cannot wait to try this. Thank you so much.

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over 3 years ago SKK

Thank you for your response to my lotus root question. This recipe is a work of art!

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

My pleasure SKK, you're welcome! & thanks for the lavish kind words!!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Honestly, between you and pauljoseph, we're all exposed to some amazing flavor and texture combinations. I'm really looking forward to trying this. Thank you so much for it.

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

Thanks boulangere Although, I'm NOWHERE near the awesome level that Pauljoseph is!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'll work on it this week. Seriously, I can almost feel the textures on the palate.

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

I did seriously knock down the quantity of butter & cream originally called for.. especially since the original version called for chunks of Paneer (pressed Indian cottage cheese) in place of the meatballs. Would love to get your valuable feedback Boulangere.. Thanks!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Good heavens, you have done some serious work here to adapt the chef's original recipe to your vision. I can almost feel the textures of that wonderful "meatball" from your description. I would love to try this.