Soft Indian cheese filled with cream, cashews, raisins and deep fried for a delightful snack.
Koftas/koftes/keftes/kufta/cufta - different names for a similar item, have a prominent presence over many cuisines; Arabic, Persian, Africa, South Asian and also the cuisine of the Eastern Europe have their own variation of koftas. The concept of the kofta/kufteh/köfte/kufta/ćufta is that a ground form of particular ingredients,(mostly meat) are spiced, rolled into a certain shape, and then either deep fried, or baked or grilled. India, being known for extensive vegetarian diet – create and cook the koftas in a lot of innovative vegetarian ways. In some medley of vegetables are used, while some use a combination of paneer/cottage cheese and vegetables and then they are cooked in different kinds of sauces with different spices and herbs.
These paneer koftas are merely an introduction to the classic North Indian dish: Malai Kofta – the paneer koftas simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. The paneer koftas were actually done here for a more complex blend of recipe, which I will post soon (Update recipe for Malai Kofta:, but the koftas can of course be served as starters; thin crisp coating on the outside, melt in the mouth and creamy inside with more surprises as you bite into a sweet raisin, the cashew,the sweet carrot or even the spicy tingle of the pepper – these stuffed koftas are scrumptious just by themselves. As you can well assume, I always make extras of these to be enjoyed as appetizers.
I have been missing in action again, I know. When the reader reaches more than 750 posts in 10 days, I think it is time to apologize. I have not been visiting and leaving comments in any of your kitchen, so please excuse me. I think this freaky schedule of mine is going to continue for few months to come. I will be posting occasionally from the drafts. It is not that we are not cooking, I just have not been getting time to edit and prepare a post.
So for now, enjoy these koftas with your favorite condiment!
Paneer Kofta (Stuffed Cheese Balls)
Ingredients: (makes about 30-35 koftas)
- 12 oz Paneer (Homemade Indian Cheese)
- 2 medium sized potatoes (pick on the smaller size), boiled, peeled, & mashed
- 2.5 heap full tablespoons corn flour/corn starch ( I have used this to bind the koftas)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional) – homemade or store bought
- oil to deep fry
- 1/2 carrot, grated very fine
- a fist full cashews, chopped
- a fist full raisins
- 2 tablespoons shredded ginger
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- few green chili peppers, very finely chopped
- few tablespoons heavy cream
Note on the stuffing:
- The above is an estimate of the proportions. There may be left overs after stuffing the balls.
- This is the kind of stuffing traditionally used. Use you own kind and your own proportions as per your taste.
Grate the fresh paneer; combine boiled potatoes, salt, garam masala, and corn flour/corn starch with the paneer in a big bowl and mash them till there are no lumps. The mix should be really smooth. Do not add any water or any kind of other liquid.
Divide into 30-35 portions (approximate number – so you get the idea of what size they are going to be). Roughly roll them into balls (it helps to wet or grease your hands while doing this).
Make a dent with your thumb, deep enough to stuff them.
Fill each of them with a little bit of every item in the “stuffing”. (I use a couple of raisins, half a nut, a small pinch of carrots, a couple of drops of cream.. etc) Close back the dough and gently roll it back into a ball, making sure that all the stuffing is well inside (if anything is popping out, the ball will break & splutter when deep frying). (see illustration below to how to make the dent and stuff ‘em)
Heat oil till steaming. Reduce the heat to medium and deep fry the balls till they are light golden on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot and fresh with ketchup/hot sauce/any favorite condiment.
Save them to make Malai Kofta ( Cheese balls simmered in creamy sauce) .