Vegetarian Shahi Kofta Masala Recipe

Since The Spice Club’s feature on the Hairy Bikers, we have been inundated with requests for our Shahi Kofta Masala recipe which was shown on the episode. This is a delicious vegetarian dish that is made from fresh lotus root kofta balls cooked in a Punjabi masala and peas. You can also add paneer which adds a lovely texture and takes the dish to the another level! Fresh lotus root is usually available at most Indian and Chinese grocery shops. (If you can’t get fresh you can also get it in a tin). We have made this dish at a few of our supper clubs and we always receive rave reviews. Many guests comment on the “meaty” texture of the koftas and are surprised that it is actually vegetarian! So without further a do, check out the recipe below. Comments are always appreciated and if you make it, tweet a pic to @thespiceclub!

Serves 4

What we need: –

For the koftas:
1 lotus root (they usually come pre-packed and are about 10-12″ long)
2 tbsp gram flour (or enough to bind)
1 tsp salt or according to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
handful fresh coriander
Oil for frying

For the paneer (optional):
1 block of paneer (approx 250g), cut into 1 inch cubes
Olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2-1 tsp salt (or according to taste)

For the masala:
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 green chilli, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
1/2 cup peas (if frozen, thaw in water and strain)
2 tbsp cream (optional)

How we do:

  • To make the koftas, you can follow along the video clip starting at 4.53 onwards. Peel the lotus root and grate. Transfer it onto on a clean tea towel and wrap it up. Squeeze out the excess water and place the grated lotus root into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the spices and coriander (written in the kofta ingredient list above) to the grated lotus root and gradually add the gram flour until it binds into a mixture. If you require more gram flour to bind, sprinkle in some more as you go along. Roll into balls and deep fry until light golden in colour and set aside.
  • If you want to add paneer to the dish, (this is optional), heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the cumin seeds. Once they begin sizzle, add the paneer cubes. Now add the salt and turmeric powder. Lightly fry until paneer turns golden on both sides. Remove from heat.
  • To make the masala, In a food processer, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Now add the salt, paprika, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and fresh coriander. Blitz until a coarse paste has been formed. Now heat olive oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and allow them to start sizzling. Now add the ground masala paste. Cook on medium heat until it turn, golden brown, stirring continuously. When you see the masala paste is nice and golden, add the plum tomatoes and mash well so it blends with the masala. Keep stirring and cook for 4-5 minutes. Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the koftas and peas to the masala. (If you have made paneer you can add it to the masala now too).
  • Boil some water in a kettle. Add 4 cups of water to the kofta masala. Mix well. Place a lid on the pan and let it simmer for 8-12 minutes, stirring constantly. Check the salt and adjust accordingly. Drizzle the cream in just before serving and you’re done.
  • Here’s the final result. Best served with basmati rice or hot chappatis. Enjoy!

Naan Kithai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

Naan Kithai are traditional Indian buttery cookies, flavoured with cardamom and are delicious. I’ve never been a huge baking enthusiast (probably because I usually view baking as a time consuming project), but I love making these, firstly because they taste amazing and go perfectly with my daily staple of cardamom tea and secondly, because the recipe is really simple and it only requires 10 minutes baking time in the oven. We have served them at The Spice Club with our after dinner tea/coffee and they go down a treat. I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times that I have decided to get it down on paper! Comments appreciated! Let me know what you thnk..

Makes approx 30

What we need:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup semolina
1/2 cup gram flour
Pinch of baking soda
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Sliced Almonds to garnish

How we do:

  • Place sugar, butter and oil in a bowl and cream together
  • In a separate bowl, add semolina, gram flour, plain flour, baking soda and cardamom powder together and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, oil and sugar
  • Bind together until a soft dough is formed
  • Divide into 30 portions and shape them into balls
  • Put a little indentation into the middle of each portion, add a slice of almond to each and place on lined baking tray
  • Bake in oven at 150C for 5 minutes. Turn the baking tray around and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • They should be a very slight golden colour. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool before touching them.
  • You’re done. Enjoy!

Cumin Puffs (Jeera Khari) – Indian Tea Snacks

Cardamom tea or “elaichi chai” comes as standard in most Indian households. I usually like to eat a sweet biscuit or rusk with my chai but recently I have been craving some salty goodness. When I used to go on holiday to India for the Summer,  I used to stay with my grandparents in Jaipur. I remember my Grandpa or “Nanaji” as I call him, used to especially go the local baker to get my brother and I some freshly baked snacks every few days as a treat. Cumin puffs  (jeera khari) used to be one of my favourites! They’re light, crispy, buttery puffs flavoured with cumin seeds and go perfectly with hot chai or creamy Madras coffee. So as I have been craving these and missing my grandparents I thought I would make these lovely treats. Baking is not my forte so I love the simplicity of these! Also, I added a few nigella seeds and carom seeds to add a little more depth to the flavour. Feel free to customise according to your tastes. Enjoy the recipe and I appreciate all comments 🙂

What we need:
1 roll butter puff pastry dough (If frozen, make sure it is thoroughly thawed out)
Sea salt to taste
Caster sugar
Cumin seeds
Nigella seeds (optional)
Carom seeds (optional)

How we do:

  • Preheat oven to 200*C
  • Open out the dough sheet onto a flat surface
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and sugar according to taste
  • Sprinkle over the cumin seeds, nigella seeds and carom seeds
  • Roll over the pastry with a rolling pin so all seeds are pressed into the dough
  • Cut out with a knife or using a cookie cutter
  • Place all the cut outs onto a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the puffs are even golden and crispy
  • Enjoy!