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!

Roasted Chicken Masala

In today’s recipe I’ll be teaching you how to make chicken masala very simply and very quickly. Chicken masala (or chicken curry as it is more popularly known as) is THE classic party dish made at all Punjabi dinner parties. My brother and I used to get so excited when my Mum used to make this when we were younger-it was only made on Sundays when we had family get-togethers at my grandmother’s house or on special occasions. Served hot with basmati rice or fresh tandoori rotis, it is sure to go down well! Infact, it is particularly popular when served at The Spice Club. This version of the classic chicken curry recipe ensures the chicken is really succulent and flavourful as we marinade the chicken and roast it before adding the masala. It can sometimes be difficult when cooking boneless chicken in a tomato masala to make sure the chicken does not turn tough in texture, but this recipe does not fail in that department. It’s also a really straight forward recipe and is quick to make! Check it out:

Serves 2-4

What we need:

For the marination:
500g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bitesized cubes
2 tbsp yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, grated
2″ ginger ginger, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Handful chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
For Masala:
4 tbsp olive oil
4 whole cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 green cardomom pod
2 medium sized onions
3 cloves garlic
2″ ginger
1 green chilli
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tin plum tomato
1/2 cup fresh coriander
2 tbsp greek yoghurt

How we do:

  • Preheat oven to 250 C
  • In a bowl, mix the chicken with the all of the ingredients listed under “marination”.
  • Place marinaded chicken in an oven proof dish dish and place in oven. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Whilst the chicken is cooking, in a food processor, add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chilli, salt, garam masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder.
  • At this point, turn the chicken over and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods to the oil. Once they begin to sizzle, add the processed masala paste.
  • Mix and cook until golden brown, constantly stirring every few minutes
  • Once golden, add the plum tomatoes and mix well. Continue to stir and cook until the oil separates from the masala.
  • Now add the chicken. Add the greek yoghurt and sprinkle on the fresh coriander and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice or chapatis. Enjoy 🙂


Roasted Lamb & Spinach Curry

Lamb and Spinach Curry is the ultimate dinner party dish and is perfect for special occasions. In this recipe, the lamb is slow roasted in order to ensure that the sauce thickens nicely and that the lamb tenderises perfectly so that it melts in your mouth. I also pre-marinaded the lamb in an aromatic yoghurt sauce so that each individual piece of lamb has it own flavour. I made this dish at a recent Spice Club dinner and it went down really well!  I think the key to this dish is cooking it slowly, yes it does take a little longer but it’s well worth the wait-believe! Best served with basmati rice or freshly made hot chappatis nom nom nom nom…
Recipe shown below serves 12. You can either divide by how many servings you want it to yield or use http://www.easysurf.cc/recipe.htm.

Serves 12

What we need:
For the marinade:-
1000g lamb, boneless leg cut into 2.5cm cubes
4 garlic cloves, grated
2″ ginger, grated
4 tbsp cream
6 tbsp yoghurt
4 tsp salt
2 tsp kasturi methi (fenugreek leaves)
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp meat tenderiser powder
For Masala:-
3 tbsp olive oil
6 onions, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
5 bay leaves
5 black cardomoms
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
3 cloves garlic
2″ ginger
2 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
pinch of pepper
2 green birdseye chillis, chopped
3/4 tin plum tomatos
2 handfuls of fresh coriander
300g pureed spinach

How we do:

  • In a bowl: Mix together the lamb and all of the ingredients listed above under the ‘marinade’ title. Refridgerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  • In a large open pan, heat the olive oil. Fry off the onions until golden and tender. Remove and grind in a food processor.
  • Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in an oven proof pan. Add the whole spices listed above. when they begin to sizzle, add the ginger and garlic. Mix well and add the remaining ground spices and salt.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Now add the ground onion paste to the pan as well as the green chillies.
  • Mix well and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes , stirring every couple of minutes. Now add the tomatos and fresh corriander. Cook the masala for a few minutes until the oil begins to separate.
  • Now add the marinated lamb and mix well.
  • Add 2 glasses of water to the lamb masala and place in the oven.
  • Check the lamb and stir it every 10 minutes. When you do this,if you think the gravy (masala) has thickened, you add some more water.
  • Keep an eye on the lamb curry and cook until the lamb is tender (I cooked it for about 3 hours). Once tender (you can tell if the lamb is fully cooked if it breaks apart easily) add the spinach and mix well until it blends with the masala.
  • Remove from oven. (NB. You can remove the whole spices from the lamb curry if you want).
  • Garnish with cream and fresh coriander.