Kofta curry/Kanchkolar Kofta/Plantain Balls Curry

Some may get a bit confused with the title of this post – so let me explain! This recipe is about green (unripe) bananas or plantains, boiled and mashed into elliptical balls which are fried and dipped in a creamy curry. Many often call it as Malai Kofta, though the latter is usually made of potatoes and cottage cheese (paneer). This one hails specifically from traditional Bengali kitchen. My hunt for making something different and for promoting more green veggies in my kitchen made me land up with this preparation. Hope you all enjoy it.

Green Bananas are generally said to be good for your stomach, specially if you are suffering from diarrhoea. Though this recipe, since it involves deep-frying, may not be a very healthy one. However I am also mentioning a healthy version of it at the end so that you can have it without much guilt.

For this recipe I had made the gravy using onions and garlic, however there is a simple version of it as well which I will mention at the end.

Ingredients:

For making the balls

  • Green Banana/Plantains -3
  • Potatoes – 2 medium-sized
  • Gram flour/Besan – 1/4 cup or as need be.
  • Salt – to taste
  • Chilli powder or finely chopped green chillies – to taste
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Bread crumbs – optional
  • Broken cashews/peanuts – for stuffing
  • Raisins – for stuffing
  • Oil – to deep fry

For the gravy

  • Whole Garam Masala –
    • Green Cardamom – 4
    • Cloves – 3
    • Cinnamon – 2 one inch stick
  • Onions, finely chopped – 1 large
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 tsp
  • Tomato, finely chopped – 1 small (optional)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Cashew paste – 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Whipping cream/Evaporated milk – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Finely chopped parsley or coriander leaves – to garnish (optional)
  • Grated cheese – to garnish (optional)
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

For making the balls

  • Cut and remove both the ends of the banana. Cut the banana into 2 inch pieces. Do not peel the skin. Cut the potato. into big pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes and bananas in water till tender. Do not boil it for too long or else it might become mushy.
  • Once cool peel off the skins and mash them together.
  • Add salt, roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder or chopped green chillies and gram flour/besan to make the dough tight. You may adjust the amount of gram flour required.
  • If required add bread crumbs to the mixture.
  • Divide into equal portions and make ellipticals balls out of the mixture, stuffing broken cashews/peanuts and raisins into each ball.
  • Heat oil in a pan, deep fry the koftas till slightly colored.
  • Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
  • Remove excess oil leaving only 1 tbsp in the pan for the gravy.

Healthy version:

  • Lightly spray oil on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
  • Place the kofta balls on the foil and again spray oil on it.
  • Place the tray on the top shelf of the oven and broil on high for 7-10 minutes (may vary in different ovens) till it gets a light brown coating on top.
  • Flip the koftas to the other side and broil once again until golden brown (7-10 minutes approx.).
  • Once done, remove from oven and keep aside.

For the gravy

  • Heat the oil in the pan, add the whole garam masala and chopped onions and saute for a while
  • Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and continue to saute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring in between. Sprinkle some water if the masala gets dried up.
  • Add cashew paste and cream / evaporated milk and mix well. (optional, may be used for richer gravy)
  • Add water if required to desired consistency. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. The koftas will soak a lot of gravy so keep that in mind when deciding the consistency of the gravy.
  • Adjust salt, add garam masala powder and cream and mix well.
  • Add the fried koftas carefully and stir lightly. Care should be taken so that the koftas do not break.
  • Cover and remove from flame. Let the koftas soak in the gravy for at least half an hour before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander leaves and grated cheese.

Alternate gravy:

Ingredients required:

  • Whole garam masala – as mentioned above
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped – 1 medium-sized
  • Green chillies, chopped – to taste
  • Sugar – to taste (optional)

Method:

  • Heat oil in the pan, add whole garam masala, ginger paste, cumin powder and chopped tomatoes.
  • Fry well till the oil leaves the mixture
  • Add cashew paste and cream / evaporated milk and mix well. (optional, may be used for richer gravy)
  • Add water to desired consistency. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. The koftas will soak a lot of gravy so keep that in mind when deciding the consistency of the gravy.
  • Add salt and sugar (if desired) and cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the koftas carefully and stir lightly. Care should be taken so that the koftas do not break.
  • Cover and remove from flame. Let the koftas soak in the gravy for at least half an hour before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander leaves and grated cheese.

 

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