Kach Kolar Nawabi Kofta
(Raw banana koftas in a regal gravy)
Now India's culinary connection with the Middle East has been well established. With her beautiful connection it is but obvious that the influence trickles from Persia to India to Bengal. Originally supposed to be Middle eastern Meatballs we of course have the meaty version but to suit many a Green person's taste in India we have our own many a vegetarian Koftas well.
Here is one which is essentially what I have seen being made in our home and my mamarbari (Mother's brother's home) While I have seen many a homes observe a vegetarian day of the week such has never been the case with my own family but the ingredients being easily available this kofta made from Raw Green bananas might perhaps make you go bananas. Rich soft smooth it is delicious.
While in Vizag I treated my mother-in-law and grandfather-in-law to this delicacy and they couldn't stop enjoying this dish which they hadn't eaten before.
The little flat balls melt in your mouth the creamy gravy is a sheer delight and that with soft fluffy Basmati rice one of the finest rice of the world is a regal treatment meat or no meat.
Now there are many a ways to make this particular dish. Mine is a bit heavy so that you can simply enjoy your meal with this one dish with rice . What makes this dish delightfully tasty is the use of ghee.
What I used:
4 Raw bananas
1 medium sized tomato made into a smooth paste
2 tablespoonful of ginger garlic paste (made into a smoother than the smooth paste)
Onion green chili paste made with 2 small onions and 3 green chilies (the paste must be extra smooth because we want the gravy to be rich and smooth fit )
Salt as per taste
1.5 tsp sugar
10 to 12 whole cashew nuts soaked in milk for 1 hour and then made into a smooth paste
Half a cup of milk
150gm of curd whipped well
1.5 inch crushed cinnamon
2 to 3 crushed green cardamom
2 to 3 crushed cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 small pinch of Homemade garam masala
3 tablespoonful of ghee
Oil for frying the kofta balls
1 tsp smooth ginger paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 large tbsp besan or gram flour
1 pinch of turmeric
Start by peeling the green bananas and potatoes. Make them in small cubes and boil them till soft enough to be easily mashed. Drain and preserve the water. lay them out on a plate to cool so that it is soft enough to be mashed. Now you might want to wash your hands and use it for mashing because your masher will never be able to achieve that extra smooth mashed vegetable. Mash it well with the heel of your palms after adding the gram flour , salt ,the ginger paste and cumin powder.
Now keep a bowl of water beside you when making the balls since it becomes easy without the mashed vegetable sticking to your fingers . Make them in balls and flatten them. It yielded about 14 koftas for me.
Now let them rest and prepare yourself for the gravy by making the paste and crushing the spices.
Heat oil in a wok and fry the flattened balls one by one till they are golden brown but not dark brown. Leave them aside on a plate and start making your gravy. Decant the oil and heat the ghee and add your bay leaf and then your crushed spices and the ginger garlic paste and saute it till the raw smell disappears and then add your onion chili paste and saute well but making sure to not burn it. Add your tomato paste and keep stirring till the oil separates and add turmeric . If you find it sticking to the bottom sprinkle it with the reserved water from the boiled vegetables and make sure it is a bubbling thick paste to which you now add your whipped curd and stir continuously to ensure the curd does not curdle and bring to a boil. Add the remaining reserved water or if you do not have reserved water then half a cup of water and milk and bring to a boil and add salt and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes to 7 minutes and add the cashew paste. remember that this will instantly thicken the gravy. Bring to slow boil and then simmer . If you find the gravy too thick loosen with a bit of milk or water and then add the koftas and simmer for 5 minutes or so and serve with hot fluffy long grained rice.
This one will be a sure hit unless you are allergic to nuts of course