Paneer kofta curry…

by Sunita on June 9, 2007

It was raining raining cats and dogs yesterday. Although rain is not an uncommon feature in our part of the UK, the same accompanied by thunder and lightning definitely is. As the kids were putting on their raincoats in the morning before setting out for school, it somehow took me back to my childhood. Here I was, urging my kids to put their hoods on and take care not to get too wet, although they just had to walk or rather run from the front door to the car(Dinesh offered to drop them). A good many years ago, it was a different story.

I come from a place where thunder storms are very common especially during the monsoon season. I loved it when it rained, especially at night. The constant pitter- patter of the wind lashed rains, striking the windows, and the sound of the rain drumming down on the roofs, it almost seems to be musical, though a bit deafening at times. Curled snugly under a light blanket, I loved to be lulled into sleep by the rain…although it may sometimes be as loud as hard rock music, I didn’t mind, I slept anyway…

As for the lightning, I remember , once, one of my uncles jokingly said that it was actually someone up there taking pictures and the lightning was the result of the flash going off. I was very young at that time and took it literally. So, every time, lightning struck, I would be dismayed if the ‘flash’ missed me, very much to the amusement of the others.

The best bit about the rain was to get soaked in it. I absolutely adored it and I’ve lost count of the number of times, when I was in school, that I’ve purposely left behind the umbrella in the hope of getting wet if it rains…and of course, that has happened quite a number of times…although I was not always successful… I still remember that day when I gleefully hopped off our school bus and was proceeding homeward (a short distance away from the drop off point), just starting to get soaked in the downpour when one of our neighbours, seeing me offered a space under her umbrella, chiding me at the same time as to how I should never leave it behind, seeing that there is no knowing when the heavens might decide to open without the least warning…my heart wanted to say ‘no’ but my mind said otherwise…no point in letting her go and inform ma about my rainy adventures. So, instead of getting soaked, here I was,being guided home by my ever helpful neighbour.

I also remember how just before Rengoni was born(we were in Kolkata at that time), and me and Dinesh were returning from a visit, when it started to rain(the kind of rain I’m used to). At the first instinct, I rolled up the window of the car…but , then, I thought, why not…I rolled it down again letting the rain lash at my face, leaving that tingling sensation…no wonder I got strange looks from passing vehicles..must have thought I was being driven to some nuthouse.

Well, that was then, not so very long ago…and now, I worry about the kids getting soaked and falling ill. I wonder what they might say if they knew about all that…I’d probably have a lot to answer for, especially from Rengoni , who is never short of querries…

Now, coming back to the present, and most importantly, the recipe of the day, we had a nice lunch of paneer kofta curry accompanied by rotis and a fresh salad… I haven’t made koftas for a long time and really enjoyed doing so today… the lunch went quite well…the koftas with the rich, thick gravy went along famously with the rest.
What’s needed-

For the koftas-

200 gms of paneer, grated
2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the gravy-

Paste no. 1-

2 handfuls of cashew nuts and 2 smaller handfuls of poppy seeds, soaked in a cup of warm milk for and hour

Paste no. 2-

2 onions, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1″ of ginger, chopped
2 tomatoes chopped

Powdered spices-

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin and coriander powders
1/2 tsp of garam masala powder

For the tempering-

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 whole red chilli


1C of yogurt
salt to taste
1 glass of water
2 tblsp of oil

How to-

The koftas-

Mix all the ingredients for the kofta except the oil.

Shape into 15 equal sized balls and deep fry till nicely browned.

Drain on paper towels and save aside.

The gravy-

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the ingredients for tempering.

When the seeds begin to splutter, add the tomato based paste. Apart from the garam masala powder, add the rest of the powdered spices and stir over medium heat till the water evaporates and the mixture forms a lump.

Add the cashew paste, yogurt and a glass of watter. Season with salt and simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.

Add the garam masala powder and simmer for another minute.

Remove from heat and dunk the koftas into the gravy. Garnish with a little cream(optional) and serve hot with rice or rotis and enjoy a nice meal…

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jyothi June 9, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Hi Sunitha, that kofthas looks great and yummy. Great and rice recipe. Thanks for sharing.


2 sunita June 9, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Jyothi, thanks and nice to have you over…


3 sra June 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm

That looks awesome! I’m going out to dinner now and it makes me want exactly this dish!


4 sunita June 9, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Sra, thanks…enjoy your dinner…if not this, something nice will definitely turn up…


5 Shilpa June 9, 2007 at 5:34 pm

The first time I made these, I didn’t realise the koftas had to be in the gravy, haha! :) I also rolled mine in breadcrumbs, I followed a funny complicated recipe… like your new look!


6 sunita June 9, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Shilpa, nice to have you back…did you just say your koftas were not in the gravy…


7 Mishmash ! June 9, 2007 at 10:06 pm

WOW…koftas look so nice , sunita…i kept looking at the pic for sometime :)



8 trupti June 9, 2007 at 11:28 pm

i just loved reading about the rains from you, I also love the rains here in NL….we get the kind that lash at our windows too….I love it!

Paneer Koftas look wonderful, haven’t made it in a while.


9 Cynthia June 10, 2007 at 12:18 am

Hey Sunita, I love the paneer kofta curry but I must say that I loved the stories of you and the rain even more! I wanted to read more of your memories! They are so lively, so colourful, so warm, so picturesque. I really love coming here.


10 Richa June 10, 2007 at 3:33 am

hey, that sounds like my sis, she never misses a chance to go out in the rains :)
those koftas look like those made by a professional chef, can i come over :) i can almost eat them right off the screen :)


11 Vcuisine June 10, 2007 at 4:35 am

A nice write up with a great recipe Sunita. Will try soon this recipe. Tks for giving a neat recipe. Viji


12 sunita June 10, 2007 at 8:05 am

Shn, glad that you liked it …I was a bit doubtful about the pictures…


13 sunita June 10, 2007 at 8:10 am

Trupti,nowadays I like to enjoy the rain more from the inside than outside…hey, what’s happening to me…

Nice to have you over…


14 sunita June 10, 2007 at 8:13 am

Cynthia,some things remain etched in the mind forever…just keep coming back in similar situations…nice to have you over…


15 sunita June 10, 2007 at 8:20 am

Richa, I loved getting soaked in the rain…haven’t done so for quite a while now…I really must be getting old…

As for the koftas,did you just say ‘professional chef’…well,that I’m definitely not…just a plain wifey and mum trying to dish out some good home cooked food…btw, you’re welcome any time…


16 sunita June 10, 2007 at 8:21 am

Viji, thanks a lot…do try it…loved having you over…


17 indosungod June 10, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Sunita lightening scares me even today, I think I am passing it off to the kids too, nothing can beat playing in the rain and getting soaked.

The Koftas sure look delicious and I don’t make them often enough but when they are made they are a special treat like yours sure is.


18 sunita June 10, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Indo, my mum, usually a tough lady was scared of lightning…luckily she did not pas that to us…

The koftas were definitely a treat for us…one does need to pamper oneself once in a while…


19 Sandeepa June 11, 2007 at 1:15 pm

That was a lovely write up and the koftas are so perfect. Me , I am afraid of lightning, especially if I am driving and see it streak through the sky


20 sunita June 11, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Sandeepa, thanks…hope you had a great weekend…


21 SJ June 11, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Hi Sunita, The kofta’s look delicious! Your write-up on the rains made me feel very nostalgic. Like you I used to love getting wet in the rain as a child, now I live in Portland (8 months of rain) and wait for the rain to stop.


22 sunita June 11, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Sj,thanks…and I do understand your point…too much of anything, however much you like it, can get to you…nice to have you over…


23 Sharmi June 11, 2007 at 7:52 pm

though its a lengthy process I can do it for getting that look. beautiful!


24 sunita June 11, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Sharmi, once in a while, I just love to cook with intensity…take my own time in the preparation and just enjoy the process…nice to have you over…


25 Dumela June 13, 2007 at 2:55 pm

yummy paneer koftas you got here


26 sunita June 13, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Dumela, thanks and nice to have you over…


27 Linda June 14, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Hi Sunita, that looks so rich and delicious — would love a plate in the cool weather we’re having here in New England :)


28 sunita June 15, 2007 at 8:40 am

Linda, welcome to my world…as regards the dish,wish I could send you some to warm things up a bit…


29 Anonymous February 29, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I tried these delicious curry,the cashew & poppy seeds really gives it a great taste.And also tried your stuffed aloo paratha & loved the writeup of your’s in every section.


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