When we say kofta it simply means the shape - round like a ball so Paneer kofta would mean cheese balls. I've actually been thinking of trying out this dish for the past few months. My mom made it when we had guests over and I always thought of it as a lot of hard work and extremely time consuming. But, enough procrastination, I finally took it up as a challenge to not only prepare this delicious dish but also to simplify it as much as I can so that no matter how busy you might be you will take a little time out and actually cook this dish and WOW everyone who eats it. - Mona
Servings: 12 koftas (cheese balls)
For the stuffed koftas (cheese balls)
1/2 cup oil
12 oz or 1 cup paneer (see recipe)
2 tbs flour
1 tbs cream or 1/2 tbs milk
1 cup mashed potatoes (about 3-4 small potatoes)
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp chat masala ( or 1/4 tsp amchoor and 1/4 tsp salt)
If you have fresh paneer (see recipe) simply knead together with the mashed potatoes, salt, cream or milk and flour. In case your paneer is frozen , defreeze and grate it and then mix together with the potatoes, cream and salt. Knead this mixture into a soft dough.
Heat the oil in a shallow non stick pan on medium heat.
Take a little bit of the dough and form a tiny test kofta (ball) and add to the oil (oil should not to smoking hot nor luke warm). If the kofta disintegrates, it it is because there is not enough flour in the dough. This problem can be solved by adding 1/2 tbs of flour.
Once the dough is at the right consistency switch the heat off and set this dough aside.
Directions for Filling
Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan.
Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and then throw in the frozen peas (no need to defreeze this).
Stir fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Then add in the chat masals and cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the peas are soft.
Once the peas are soft, roughly mash them with the back of a spoon.
Turn off the heat and add the lime juice mixing well.
Let this mixture cool for 5-10 minutes.
Assembling the koftas
Divide the paneer dough into 12 parts and roll them between your palms flattening them on one palm.
Take the pea mixture (1 tsp) and set it in the center of the flat dough.
Close the dough around the mixture and form smooth round balls with both hands.
Repeat the process forming 12 perfect, round koftas.
These koftas can be served as snacks with any chutney or added to any gravy. They can be prepared in advance and refrigerated and used when required. They should be added to the gravy just before serving so that they remain crisp.
Core spices and Flavorings-
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tbs oil
1 cup tomato sauce or puree
10 ground almonds
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp brown sugar (optional)
2 tbs slivered almonds for garnishing
Heat oil in a medium sized pot and add the garlic paste and almond powder and stir for a couple of minutes over medium heat.
Now add the onions and keep stirring for another minute.
Pour in 1/3 cup milk mixing well on medium heat and cook down until the onions are soft.
Throw in the puree, spices, salt and sugar and let it all cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
When the sauce starts bubbling add the remaining milk and water and let it cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
The sauce/curry is now ready for the koftas. Arrange the koftas on a serving dish, turn off the flame and pour the hot sauce over the koftas. Serve garnished with the slivered almonds.
I have prepared the curry for the koftas in this manner but you are always welcome to prepare the curry in another way. We are always eager to learn new, unique and more delicious ways to cook our sauces and would love for you to share with us.
Enjoy this delicious Paneer Koftas Curry with rice or rotis.