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Raw banana/Vazhakai Kofta Curry

Raw banana Kofta Curry, Fried dumpling of Raw Banana/Vazhakai with Potatoes and Paneer in a rich and creamy curry.

This is no south Indian version of north Indian Food. I didn’t know for a very long time until recently one of our friend told us that this dish is from bengali Cuisine, which is among few cuisines in the Indian region which still holds its authenticity over many many years. (Thanks Ayan and Wikipedia!)

Source of this recipe: Probably 15-17 years back, someone gave us a monthly calendar with awesome food photography and two recipes in every month sheet. My parents, both of them who are a lot into cooking and experimenting, did try most of the vegetarian recipes as far as I know from the calendar! How I wish I had that old calender with me now, which has seen so many transfer along with us.. I know its safe somewhere with Amma’s other such treasures!

Raw banana Kofta Curry, Fried dumpling of Raw Banana/Vazhakai with Potatoes and Paneer in a rich and creamy curry.

Ingredients you will need:

For the Gravy:

1 large White/Red Onion, Diced

2 small Tomatoes

3-4 Green Chillies

10-12 Whole cashews

1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds/Khus-khus

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 Tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste

1/2 Tsp chilli powder or adjust to taste. Also depends on the heat of green chili you will be adding.

1/2 Tsp coriander powder

1/2 Tsp garam masala

1/2 Tsp sugar

1-1.5 Tbsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves

2-3 Tbs of Fresh cream (malai)

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation of the gravy: (Differs from the original recipe)

1. Boil onion in water till it becomes tender. Yeah you read it right! Instead of sautéing onions in oil to get rid of the raw flavor, boiling onion in water, is a healthier option, gives a creamier texture and remaining water is used while cooking the curry. This is a wonderful method to avoid oil and butter in  any gravy recipe involving onions without sacrificing taste and flavor. I have followed this method for three or four years now!

2. As the onions are cooking, purée the tomatoes and green chilies to a very fine paste. I do not prefer to blanch the tomatoes for this recipe cause I feel this way it tastes better and richer.

3. In a pan, put the butter, when it  to melts add the ginger-garlic paste. As it cooks, add the tomato and chili paste. Add salt, sugar and all other spices expect kasuri methi.

4. After the onions are cooked, switch off the stove and add poppy seeds and cashews. Let it soak for 8-10 minutes. Make a fine purée of it. Add to the well sauteed tomato paste. Mix well and bring to a boil. If it is too thick, dilute with little milk/water.

5. After the first boil add kasuri methi (before adding crush it in your palms gently and then add) and fresh cream/Malai. Add salt if needed.

6. Garnish by adding finely chopped coriander leaves.

For the Koftas/fried dumpling:

1 Large/2 small potatoes, cleaned, boiled and mashed or grated

1/2 cup soft paneer, crumbled

1 large Plantain, Peeled, boiled to soft and mashed

Lightly sauteed chopped onions in clarified butter/ghee

A few raisins- optional. This goes as a stuffing in the kofta.

Salt-to taste

1/2 tsp of chilli powder or adjust to taste

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and asafoetida

1/2 tsp Dhaniya jeera powder/ Cumin and coriander powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

Oil for deep-frying

The Original recipe did not mention paneer and raisins, I tried once and loved it, ever since its become a part of the recipe.

For the Kofta/Dumplings:

1. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned for the kofta except raisins.

2. Knead to a soft dough. Do not over knead. Take a golf sized portion and push one or two raisin into it. close it well. Do the same with the rest. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil. Fry the kofta, one by one. Do not add more than two at a time. If the first kofta is breaking, add a spoon of corn flour to the mixture and roll into a tighter ball. Fry the rest.

Arranging:

Once the koftas and gravy are ready, pour the gravy/curry in the serving dish and arrange the koftas on top. Serve Hot.

This delicacy is lightly on sweeter side and a great party food.

Happy cooking.

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