Shaam Savera non-fried Koftas (Spinach & paneer (Indian cottage cheese)) curry

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Do you have picky eaters in your house? I do :). Greens play an important role in our diet, however,when it comes to consuming them most people shy away, as they are not very appealing to the pallete. I am always challenged  with how to incorporate spinach (one such green) in my meals. Today’s recipe is an attempt to blend spinach with the goodness of paneer. This recipe is called – Shaam Savera. It symbolizes the darkness of night (shaam) and brightness of day light (savera). Give this recipe a try and I guarantee you will have requests for second servings :).

Ingredients for the koftas

2 cups blanched spinach

1/2 cup fresh grated paneer

~ 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2-3 green chilies finely chopped (adjust according to taste)

2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

oil for roasting

Ingredients for the gravy

4-5 medium-sized tomatoes

1 cup smooth paste of onion (red preferred)

1 tbsp oil

1 pinch asafoetida

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

2 tsp fresh grated garlic

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 stick of cinnamon

2 bay leaves (dried)

2-3 cloves

2-3 big black cardamom

2 tbsp coriander powder

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (adjust to taste)

2 tbsp almond flour/paste (optional)

2 tbsp sour cream (optional)

2 tbsp kasuri methi

1 tbsp honey

water (to adjust consistency)

salt to taste

Method for making koftas

  1. Squeeze out as much water as you from blanched spinach.
  2. Place this in mixing bowl. Add 1/2 garam masala, 1/2 green chillies and salt to taste. Mix well. Now add some breadcrumbs and mix. Keep adding breadcrumbs until you feel that mixture is not too wet. The breadcrumbs will help in binding.
  3. In another mixing bowl add the paneer. Using your palm, mash the paneer. Continue mashing till you feel the paneer is soft. Now add remainder of garam masala & green chillies and salt to taste. Mix well. Form round balls from this paneer mixture.
  4. Spread some spinach mixture on your palm and spread it flat. Place the paneer ball on it. Try to wrap the spinach around it. Repeat this step till you use up the entire mixture.
  5. Roast these in a appam pan on medium heat using oil sparingly. You will need to rotate these, until all sides are cooked.
  6. Keep them aside to cool down.

Method for making gravy

  1. Blanch the tomatoes for 2 mins in boiling water. Let them cool down to room temperature. Then puree them and strain the puree. This will yield a smooth puree devoid of seeds.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add asafoetida, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom. Stir well. Once you hear the cumin seeds crackle, add the onion paste. Cook the onion paste till golden brown.
  3. Now add the coriander, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix well and cook for 2 -3 mins.
  4. Now add the tomato puree, almond flour, kasuri methi, honey and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook until you see oil leave the sides of the pan.
  5. Now add sour cream and cook for 2 min.
  6. At this point, if you feel that gravy is too thick, add water, adjust salt accordingly and cook until the gravy boils.

Serving tips

  • Enjoy with roti, paratha or naan of your choice
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