Saturday, 29 March 2014

Kramer's Veggie Kofta (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Pearl Jam ~ Alive (Live) 
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons "spring"
Joan Jett ~ Drunks
Slash ft Iggy Pop ~ We're All Gonna Die
Black Robot ~ Shake A Leg
The Zutons ~ Why Won't You Give Me Your Love?
Natalie Imbrugia ~ Beauty On The Fire
Buckcherry ~ Dirty Mind
Racal Flatts ~ I'm Moving On
Garrett Hedlund ~ Chances Are
The Eagles ~ Doolin-Dalton
Deacon Blue ~ Bound To Love 
Janiva Magness ~ You Better Love Me
Enigma ~ Second Chapter

I am home alone this weekend...I make that statement and realise this is probably the first moment I have actually been alone so far. ML is away working in London and taking advantage of a relaxing weekend with my lovely in-laws. The day has been a riot of noise with the company of my sister and her little ones...then for lunch we were joined by our Mum. It's Mothers Day tomorrow so it was a last minute sneaky lunch so I could give her, her card and gift. I hear new lipsticks are in her It was really good just spending the time with them. Mum is still looking a little fragile after her recent health scare but she managed to eat and enjoy a bowl of Carrot & Coriander that is a huge improvement. Its been a good day...

Their visits have been great and they didn't kick up a fuss whilst I kept busy cooking for tonight. I think they all know me well enough by now to let me do my Hey..I did actually leave the kitchen to sit with them whilst they ate lunch! The dishes I've been making today is for a meal tonight. My pal Ann and I are just sharing dinner and I'm looking forward to it. Ann appreciates a good home cooked meal and I appreciate her for taking one for the The main dish I've made today is from the kitchen of Alison Kramer although I didn't know this until after I made it. But naturally now I do I am very happy to send the credit where its due. 

I chose this recipe because back in my non-vegan days my favourite meal from the fantastic Indian restaurant in Helltown was Nireemissee Malai Kofta. Vegetable packed balls covered in breadcrumbs and fried off and served in a rich almond cream sauce. *drool* Yep, I would enjoy it with a plain naan bread and then not be able to move for hours. lol. It was most definitely a High Days & Holidays meal out. Of course my transforming to being vegan stopped this treat as the sauce had plenty of cream in it. And if any little hope was left in me...going gluten free killed it. And nothing....I repeat nothing....NOTHING!...has ever come anywhere close. I'll admit it...I became a little tearful as I read through Alison's recipe. Could this really be true? A vegan and gluten free version of my beloved dish? And in that moment I knew that is what I would be making for us tonight. 

The most costly ingredient in this recipe is the two tins of low fat coconut milk but that is because it's stupidly expensive to buy it here in the UK. The rest of the ingredients are everyday items you would most likely have in a vegan & gluten free kitchen. And the making of them is very easy. However, I did have a little ew, ew, ew moment when mixing in the veggies and chickpea flour with my hands. It sticks like glue! *shudder* But very soon after I had my rolled out koftas. I had 25 koftas and I wasn't sparing with my amounts. Now I never deep fry anything in my kitchen...the whole thought frightens me as I have the oil phobia and also I dislike fried foods. I almost always bake off everything that calls for frying even if it means they don't turn out as the recipe author would hope. But today I went with it...I heated probably 2" sunflower oil in my wok and then cooked them and flipped them over after 2 minutes. Yes...somewhere deep in my mind I was screaming...but my nostalgic kick for my old beloved treat kept me going. The accompanying sauce was again simple to make and smelt divine as it came together. 

The results...were gorgeous. The koftas were soft yet still retaining their firmness needed to stay together in the sauce. The veggies inside were perfectly cooked and the spices in the coconut sauce complemented them very well. Was it anything like my old love...kinda. The comfort of the koftas in the rich sauce was intense but the sauce was a very different experience to my old almond sauce. I am very happy to have found Alison's recipe and it will definitely be a dish I make for those special occasions and yes..I will confess that somethings do need to be cooked the traditional way. But I will try baking a batch very soon..

Kramer's Veggie Kofta
Kramer's Veggie Kofta    Makes 25ish koftas
(Recipe by Alison Kramer)

For the sauce: 

3 tbsp olive oil (I used sunflower)
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp anise seeds (I used fennel)
2 tbsp curry powder 
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp coriander 
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Indian red chilli powder 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cans full-fat coconut milk (I used low fat)
1/4 cup chickpea flour 
salt to taste 

For veggie balls:

1 cup tinned chickpeas
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups cooked and mashed thin skin potatoes, unpeeled
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp sea salt 
1 1/2 cup chickpea flour
vegetable oil for frying (*shudder* lol)
garam masala and chopped coriander 

The make the sauce: In a large well seasoned cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat with the mustard seeds. Cook until the mustard seeds pop. Add the anise, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, red chili powder, garlic and onion. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and let simmer over a medium-low heat until the onions are very soft, stirring often. 

Mix in the coconut milk and sprinkle in the chickpea flour and whisk until no lumps remain. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until thickened, about 7 minutes. If your sauce thickens too quickly, stir in a bit of water and continue to heat until the desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste, turn of the heat, and cover. 

To make the veggie balls: Pulse the chickpeas and lemon juice together in a food processor until a thick paste is formed. Transfer to a bowl along with the potato, carrot, parsley, spinach and salt. Using your hands, squish together the mixture until well combined. 

Sprinkle on the chickpea flour and continue to mux with your hands until all the flour has been Incorporated. Flatten into a large patty and chill in the fridge for about 3o minutes. 
Shape the chilled dough into approximately 20 1" round balls.

Pour the oil to a depth of 5" into a deep fryer and heat to 360'F/182'C. Add the veggie balls a few at a time and fry for 4 minutes or until dark brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining balls. 

Freshly cooked koftas...beautiful, eh?

Add the veggie balls to the pan of sauce. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before serving sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with the fresh coriander. Serve over basmati rice....


Gratuitous foodie shot...Yum! lol

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday has been good...

NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Alison Kramer and hers alone. I do send out thanks to her for a great recipe. For all the nutritional details for this recipe and two more teaser recipes from her new cookbook,  please visit Allison's here. ~R~