Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spinach and Pistachio Kofta

A crunchy take on the soft and tender fried paneer. This is a classic recipe that I have seen many bloggers retell since there is not much to the recipe. 

I added spinach since paneer is a cheese and I LOVE spinach and cheese combinations. 

And, I added Pistachios after I saw a few bloggers adding ground almonds and peanuts to their recipes. I figured pistachios are a soft nut like the other two and it sounded right together with cheese and spinach.

The combination of all three ingredients went so well together. The gravy was rich and the added crunch of the pistachios with the soft paneer was simply sublime.

I am so happy with this recipe. Not only is it filling, but it's healthy too!

I am most pleased because this recipe leaves a lot of room to come back and play with different flavor combinations to make another (different), healthy dinner, delicious.

Spinach and Pistachio Koftas                                       Serves 4

For Koftas

1 package of paneer, crumbled
1/2 c frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tbl finely chopped pistachios
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp Kitchen King
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbl flour
2 tbl fine breadcrumbs (optional)
Oil for frying

1. Crumble the paneer on a wide plate, top with remaining ingredients, except breadcrumbs and oil; mix until combined.

2. Take a handful of mix at a time and create 5-8 balls, formed tightly. Roll in breadcrumbs if desired.  As I tried both techniques, breadcrumbs and without, and the balls tasted the same either way. The only difference is, the ones coated in crumbs were much more uniform in color.

3. Heat up a wok or fryer and deep fry koftas for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.  

For Curry

2 tbls oil Oil
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 in stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 onion, chopped
1/2 can chopped tomatoes or 2 whole tomatoes chopped
1 tbl salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Kitchen king
1/2 tsp Garam masala
3/4 c milk (I used 1% fat) 
1 tbl chopped pistachios (Garnish)

1. In a wide saute pan, heat up the oil and add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon, let cook on medium until aromatic and cumin seeds begin to pop. 

2. Fry the onion and garlic until onions are tender and slightly brown. Coat well with the sweet spices.

3. Add the tomatoes and the remaining spices; mix well. Let vegetables cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes fall apart. 

4. Slowly add the milk to the curry until thoroughly mixed. Add the fried koftas, coat in the curry sauce; cover and let simmer on low for 10 minutes. Curry will thicken quickly, add more milk to reach desired consistency. 


5. Serve koftas and curry over herbed rice, garnish with chopped pistachios. 

Calories calculated using Sparkrecipes calculator: 158.5 calories per serving. This count does not include calories included if eaten with rice or oil absorbed while frying. The calculation was also made with the assumption the reader is using breadcrumbs.