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)
Water
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!

Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)


There are so many different types of Indian potato dishes but I think this i, by far, one of my favourites. Jeera Aloo (also known as cumin potatoes), is one of the first dishes my Mum taught me how to cook just before I moved away to university, namely because it doesnt require much prep or cooking time. Great as a main or a side dish. Infact, I’ve recently started making chappati wraps stuffed with these potatoes and taking them to work with me. Little bit more snazzier than my regular, plain ol’ cheese & tomato sandwiches :). Check out the recipe and let me know how what you think!

Serves 4

What we need:
4 potatoes-roughly 1lb in weight (I prefer red potatoes but you can use any)
1 tsp salt or according taste
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
10 curry leaves, chopped (optional)
handful fresh coriander, chopped

How we do:

  • Boil potatoes until cooked and tender. You can also cook them in a microwave for approx 12 minutes. Chop into even, bitesize pieces on a board.
  • Sprinkle salt, paprika, mango powder and garam masala evenly on the potatoes and mix well.
  • Heat oil in non stick wide pan or wok. Add cumin, mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. When they begin to sizzle, add the onions. Stir well and add the potoaoes.
  • Mix the pototoes and add the coriander.
  • You’re done! Serve with hot chapatis and enjoy.

Spicy Indian Chicken

This recipe came out of a massive cooking session I had on Sunday. I was feeling inspired and as a result made a plethora of dishes including paneer/mushroom masala, spicy potato patties and sweet, sticky Indian desserts like Gulab Jamun! The boys (my bro and pops) were particularly looking forward to the chicken dish and chowed down accordingly. Thus, I deemed it appropriate to share this recipe with you all :). As this is a dry chicken dish as opposed to a “curry”, it is best served with hot chappatis with some butter smeared on top-believe! Also, I cooked the chicken on the bone as I think that the chicken becomes more flavourful and is more tender cooked on the bone but that is personal preference so feel free to use boneless if that is what you like. Check out the recipe below, do comment and let me know how it goes for you!

Serves 4

What we need:
For the marination:-
500g chicken (on the bone or boneless cut into small pieces)
1tsp salt
1tsp black pepper
1tsp grated garlic
1tsp grated ginger
1/2tsp paprika
1/2tsp garam masala
handful fresh coriander
2 tbsp yoghurt

For the masala:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
Pinch of cinnamon powder
1 onion, diced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2tsp grated garlic
2tsp grated ginger
salt (according to taste)
1tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/4 tin peeled plum tomatoes
Handful fresh coriander

How we do:
-Marinate the chicken in the ingredients listed under ‘marination’ above. Leave to marinate for one hour in the fridge
-In the mean time, you can make the masala. Begin by heating the oil in a pan. Once hot add the cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon powder, bay leaf and star anise
-Once they begin to sizzle, add the onions and chilli and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions turn a slight golden colour
-Now add the garlic and ginger. Mix and cook for 1-2 minutes
-Now add the salt, garam masala, turmeric powder and paprika. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes
-Add the tomatoes, mashing them with the rest of the masala. Cook for a few minutes and add half of the coriander. When you see the oil separate from the masala, add the chicken
-Mix the chicken well with the masala and continue to do so for 3-5 minutes
-Place the lid on the pan and place on low heat. Let it simmer, stirring every five minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked all the way through (this usually takes 25-30 minutes)
-Use the rest of the coriander to garnish the chicken and serve hot with chappatis