Plantain Kofta Curry Bengali Style



Koftas are usually spiced meatballs but the vegetarian versions taste great too. In fact its my preferred method to feed my daughter vegetables that she's not very fond of. I just slightly boil or steam veggies, mash it well, add spices, roll into balls and deep or pan fry them. These kid friendly finger foods are a delight.She gobbles many down dunking them in her favorite ketchup. Today we tried the same trick with plantains. She hungrily ate them as an after school snack.

Koftas by themselves can be had as snack or appertizer. A curry/sauce base is added when you need to make it into a main meal.

This recipe is in Bengali Niramish Style. Niramish means without any onions and garlic. Bengali vegetarian recipes are usually made this way. They only use onions, garlic and tomatoes for seafood or meat preparations. Their curries are very light with spice powders mixed in water and cooked till their flavors develop. Bengali preparations also use a lot of potatoes. Its like a must in every recipe.


Panch Phoran is a traditional Bengali spice mix made up of equal parts of cumin seeds, brown mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and Kalonji (black onion seeds). This is regularly used as whole spices or powdered spice mix to flavor meat, seafood or vegetable curries.

Alternately for a more richer and thicker sauce, you can puree onions and tomatoes and saute them with the same spices.




Ingredients:

For Koftas:
  • 4 plantains
  • 1/2 a potato
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of hing /asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice flour

For Gravy:
  • 11/2 potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoran
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon grated coconut
  • salt to taste
 


Directions:
  1. Boil the potatoes and plantains till done. Chop the boiled potatoes into large chunks.
  2. Peel the skin of the plantains and mash in a bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 of a potato to it and mash it too.
  4. Add all the spice powder and other ingredients and mix well.
  5. Take a lemon sized amount of the mixture and shape into a ball. Flatten it with your palms.
  6. Add more rice flour if the mixture doesn't hold its shape.
  7. Heat a wok/ kadhai and add enough oil for frying.
  8. Deep fry these kofta balls till brown. Remove on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
  9. You can also pan fry for a healthy version.
  10. In a bowl beat the yogurt till smooth.
  11. Add the spice powder  and mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a nice masala paste. Keep aside.
  12. Heat a tablespoon of oil in another saucepan.
  13. Temper with panch phoran.
  14. Add the boiled potatoes and stir fry for a minute.
  15. Add the masala paste prepared earlier and stir for 2 more minutes.
  16. Add about a cup or two of water to make desired amount of gravy.
  17. Now add the peas, coconut and salt and simmer the gravy for about 5-7 minutes.
  18. Add the koftas into the gravy just at the time of serving or else they may disintegrate in the curry.
  19. Serve Plantain Kofta curry with white rice and dal or flavored pilaf for a satisfying vegetarian meal.




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