Kofta is a term used for meatballs in Indian cuisine.. wait, let me rephrase - Meatballs known as kefte (or Kufta, kifta, kofte, kyufta..) probably made their way from the Middle East to India (and the term gradually changed the way it sounded as more and more innovations and new ingredients reformulated whatever the original recipe was, just like the Indian 'Samosa' was originally a Persian Sanbosag. - By the time my Dad had my mother taste it for the first time after she got married, it was in a completely vegetarian avatar. SHe used to make it with bottle gourd, shredded and squeezed out all the liquid, tossed with garbanzo flour and spices and deep fried. Her version for the gravy was more like the flavors of those used in a creamy, buttery chana masala, but, I wanted to try something vegan , and so this version is a creamy sauce with plenty of onions and thickened with garbanzo flour and almond meal. —Panfusine
20 koftas (serves 5)
fresh thyme leaves
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons
Cayenne chili powder (as per taste)
aamchur / Raw mango powder (optional)
Add salt to the shredded zucchini and allow to rest for ~ 5 - 10 minutes. Squeeze out all the water from the zucchini and reserve the liquid (for the gravy)
Heat the oil ina cast iron pan. WHile the oil is getting ready, add the thyme leaves, spices powders and the garbanzo flour to the shredded zucchini and fold into a thick mixture. using a table spoon drop the mixture into the hot oil in batches and fry until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
If you opt to stop at this point, and scarf the koftas with a splash of lime and some ketchup or chat masala.. go ahead, its delicious!
Heat the oil and add the cumin, coriander seeds and the bay leaves. stir until the spices emit a fragrant aroma and then add the sliced onions.
Fry the onions till lightly golden brown and then sprinkle in the cayenne, turmeric and the garam masala. add the tomato paste and the zucchini liquid and simmer until the tomato paste loses its raw smell. whisk the garbanzo flour in a little water , ensuring that there are no lumps. Add to the tomato mixture along with the almond meal and simmer to thicken to your preferred consistency.
Add the koftas and warm the gravy prior to serving. Serve with either plain or spiced rice, or roti. and a side of salad.