Aloo kofta curry is very special to me not because that it is my Ma’s one of the savoured recipe but because it is simple and minimalist too, nothing fancy and many a times it acts as saviour against some un announced guest or on weekday’s dinner after work when suddenly I realized we had nothing at home except potatoes, stupefied at being so inefficient , and after a long-distance call later at some ungodly hours to my Mom, aloo kofta arrived in its full attire.
Ma makes this in kofta style and stuffed the potatoes with her favourite fish (rohu) stuffing and then dunked them in creamy sauce, she used to call it as “macher pur diye aloo kofta” or fish stuffed potato kofta curry and over the years this become our house special.
Fish or meat stuffing calls for extra preparations, consumes extra time and being somewhat lazy (at times ), I adapt the recipe to make a vegetarian version, sans ONION & GARLIC , stuffed it with mawa and paneer but you can use any vegetable stuffing or even lentil if you think so.
Now there are many versions of this same recipe, my Mom makes this by boiling the potatoes, cut them into halves and then scooped out the interiors, leaving enough space for stuffing the potatoes with fish or meat, but for that you need few good quality potatoes for an even cooking. But then you never know how the potatoes will behave after boiling !!! Some get cooked evenly and some are so stubborn that it seems no amount of heat is enough for them to get mashed !!!So to make my life more simple and easy I have tried it with mashed potatoes , stuffed them with paneer and mawa and then deep-fried them in hot oil, koftas are ready to be dunked in tomato – yogurt sauce and I have reserved some to make a baked version of this recipe too.
- Potatoes (boiled and mashed) : 6-8
- Mawa or milk solids : ½ cup
- Paneer or Indian cottage cheese (scrambled) : ½ cup
- Raisins or cashew nuts or almonds : a handful
- Tomatoes crushed or puree : 1 cup
- Ginger paste : 2 tbsp
- Yogurt beaten : ½ cup
- Sour cream (optional) : 1-2 tbsp
- Cumin powder : 2 tsp
- Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
- Kashmiri red chilli powder : 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Oil for deep-frying
- Shredded cheese for baked version
- Cilantro leaves for garnishing
- Boil the potatoes and mashed them well with a potato masher.
- Season the potatoes with little salt and chilli powder.
- Warm the mava or milk solids in a non stick pan and add the scrambled paneer in it , season it with salt and spices and add the sugar to taste. Add the raisins or almonds too and mix them well.
- Divide the mashed potatoes into six or eight portions, flatten them like patties and give a bowl like shape.
- Filled the bowl of mashed potatoes with mawa and paneer mix in the centre and wrap it along so that the stuffing is well secured inside it .
- Shape it like koftas, dipped them in a thin slurry of cornstarch and then rolled them in bread crumbs and deep-fried them in hot oil. Drained them on a tissue paper.
- Heat two tablespoon oil in a pan and add the crushed tomato paste or puree and ginger paste.
- Fry them for few minutes till the oil starts leaving the pan.
- Switch off the heat and let it cool for a minute or two as this will prevent the curdling of yogurt.
- Add the yogurt now and mix it well with the tomato-ginger paste.
- On a low heat, keep stirring the yogurt and add all the spices listed above.
- Once the yogurt is warm enough, increase the heat and saute the spices for few more minutes.
- Add a cup of water, lower the heat and let it simmer till the gravy thickens.
- Just before serving, dunked the potatoes kofta in the gravy, simmer for a minute or two and serve immediately.
- In an oven proof dish, pour the gravy or sauce and place the potatoes kofta, cover it with more gravy and sprinkled some grated cheese over it. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F until the cheese melts.
Fish & Seafood lovers : can stuff the potatoes with scraped fish and minced shrimps.
Meat fanatics : can make it more savoury by stuffing the potatoes with minced meat or keema.
Veggie bellies : other than mawa and paneer, mashed or minced peas, or grated carrots, minced soya chunks, minced cauliflowers will equally goes well with this recipe.
Literally you can stuff anything you wish to.
Try this yummy rich and soft aloo ke kofte for a weekday dinner or make them at your leisure and enjoy with pulao or plain kulcha or simply with plain roti, it will left you amused in every bite…