My mom is in Boston visiting me for the week and celebrating mother's day. Since the weather in Boston is stuck in April (April showers bring May... showers?). I figured today would be a good day to prepare a feast. Since I would have the support of my sous-chef (Sue-chef if you like) I decided to make something a bit more labor intensive: malai kofta.
Kofta is the name generally given to fried balls of stuff - often meat. The kofta I am familiar with from Indian cooking are usually vegetarian. I am not actually sure what makes these ones malai koftas. I think it is the cheese, but maybe they are not even actually malai kofta since the definition I found on wikipedia for malai is clotted cream.
Well whatever they are called, here is how I made them:
1) Make some fresh paneer from 1 gallon of milk:
2) Boil 2 large potatoes then mash:
3) Mash in the paneer and then add 1 small minced onion, several chopped hot peppers, some chopped cashew, raisins, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (made by toasting a slice of bread and then dropping in the blender), chopped cilantro, salt, and garam masala. Also add a few tablespoons of corn flower or some other binding agent:
4) Form the mixture into your preferred shape:
5) Fry in vegetable oil:
6) Until golden brown:
Holy cow I made a lot of 'em!
At this point we took a short break from all the cooking. Once rested we continued on to the gravy!
7) Fry cumin and black mustard seed in a tablespoon of ghee.
8) Add in some onion, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper and cook til the onions are soft.
9) Add in some turmeric, corriander, and cumin powder and fry a minute or two.
10) Toss in about 4 medium-sized tomatoes along with some salt and cook covered until the tomatoes reduce down.
11) While the tomatoes are cooking, place a few handfuls of raw cashews that you've had soaking in hot water for the last few minutes (hope you read ahead!) into the blender and make some cashew paste.
12) Add the cashew paste along with some liquid (like water or if you have it, the whey left over from paneer making) and cook for a few minutes until everything in the pot looks good.
13) Slowly add the sauce to the blender in a few batches and blend until smooth.
14) Transfer back to the pot and cook for a minute or so more adding liquid if needed.
While all this was going on, I also made some rice that included cashew, raisins, peas, and a host of spices:
We also made a quick dish of chic peas and dandelion greens! That one was not too exciting, so I forgot to take a picture...
When all was said and done (4 hours later!) we served it up together even though we were not too hunger since we were snacking on it all the way through.
Happy Mother's Day!