Cabbage Kofta is my husband Shankar's signature dish. The finely minced cabbage with a hint of carrot is mixed with besan flour and deep fried. The cabbage balls are nicely textured and hold together firmly under the layer of gravy while still remaining light and fluffy. My husband concocts his own complex blend of spices which are freshly ground together to aromatize and flavor the dish. Shankar is a perfectionist when it comes to his kofta, and I am still chastised when I haphazardly form the kofta balls without rolling them smoothly. I admit his attention to detail makes all the difference in the final product.The kofta recipe has been handed down from a close family friend, to my MIL, who passed it on to her sons.
If you are looking for a dish to make that will impress your friends, this kofta recipe is a surefire hit. When I think of all the times we have had cabbage kofta a number of special memories come to mind; the first time my husband cooked dinner for me, celebration dinners we have had for our friends getting married, to special dinner events we have hosted for our friends at the B-school. A typical dinner party for us invariably includes making a large batch of kofta's in order to satisy our dinner guests AND their requests to take home the leftovers. Foods seem to trigger fond memories for a lot of people, and a signature dish can create that memory between you and your friends. I highly recommend it!
(Makes about 30 koftas)
1 small head cabbage, 1 carrot shredded or finely minced, 3/4 cup besan flour, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tbsp red chilly powder, Salt, oil to deep fry
1 pound tomatoes, 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp poppy seeds, 1/2 tsp saunf seeds, 1/2 tsp anardhana powder, 2 tbsp minced/grated ginger, 2 medium green chillies, 3 dried red chillies, a large handful of cilantro, 1 medium onion, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 clove garlic minced (optional)
1. Grind all the ingredients for the gravy together into a fine paste, adding about 2 cups of water. 2. Sauté the gravy with 2 tbsp. butter letting it thicken. Bring this to a boil, seasoning with salt.
3. Mince the cabbage (best done with a food processor). Add salt and leave it for a few minutes.
4. Squeeze as much of the water out of the cabbage as possible.
5. Add the besan to the cabbage, along with the rest of the kofta ingredients, and knead it together.
6. Form this mixture into small balls, and fry them in hot oil until brown.
7. Add the balls to the gravy, and let it soak for about half an hour.
This recipe is taken from my brother in law Gopi's website, and he has mentioned a few tips as follows. Squeeze as much water out of the cabbage as possible so the balls will absorb less water while frying. Add the carrot after you squeeze out the water in order to squeeze out the maximum amount of water.
Verdict: We had our friends over for dinner last weekend. Menu: Cabbage Kofta, Mushroom Biriyani, Okra & Greens Subzi, Toor Daal with Tomato (by my friend Pooja), and Paneer Paratha's. The dinner was spectacular and leftover koftas duly packed off with our friends. Mushroom Biriyani Recipe to follow, stay tuned!