Seriously, what is up with the Danish weather this year?? A week ago it was almost too hot to breathe and yesterday I got drenched to the bone running from one meeting to another; it rained non-stop all day!
The sun is shining today, but the wind is industrious as ever reminding everyone that they are in Scandinavia, lest they forget 😉
I am also on vacation from today for two (hopefully) glorious weeks. Now the weather just needs to cooperate, so we can hit the beaches 😀
When the warm weather comes around, I like to cut down on meat and cook more with the wonderful summer produce. Like this gorgeous Zucchini Kofta Curry I made last week when we were sweltering in almost 35 C!
When I was growing up, one of my favorite dishes from my mom’s repertoire was this wonderful Lauki (Bottle Gourd) Kofta Curry. Lauki grated and mixed with spices and chickpeas flour, formed into dumplings, deep-fried and then gently simmered in a fragrant sauce.
I have given up on ever finding Lauki here in Copenhagen, so I decided to try the recipe with Zucchini instead. And I was quite amazed at how delicious it turned out to be! I have made this curry twice now and it has taken me right back to my childhood
To avoid deep-frying, I made the koftas in an Æbleskiver pan (I got a cast-iron one last Christmas and boy, has it worked out well!) Perfectly browned outside, perfectly cooked inside, the koftas are a lovely snack by themselves. Sort of veggie meatballs.
And they are magnificent in this curry sauce made with some beautiful spices and a dollop of cream. This curry just calls out for some lovely naan, chapati or bread: swoop right in and grab a kofta, don’t forget to mop up some of that lovely sauce with the bread!
I’m bringing over this delicious curry over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week’s party is not going to be a noisy affair. We are all taking time to relax, appreciate old friends and make new ones
Here’s the recipe (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey).
Zucchini Kofta Curry
For the Koftas (Meatballs)
3 medium Zucchini
1⁄2 teaspoon Salt
1 fresh Green Chili, minced (can use more or less, to your taste)
3 tablespoons Onions, finely minced or grated
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh Ginger, finely minced or grated
3 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup Chickpea Flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
For the Curry Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium Onions, finely minced or grated
1⁄4 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Red Chili powder or Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
2 teaspoons Coriander powder
1 teaspoon crushed Ginger
1 teaspoon crushed Garlic
2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (could use tinned)
1/2 cup heavy Cream
1⁄2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1⁄2 teaspoon Cumin powder, roasted
1⁄4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Make the Koftas (Meatballs)
Wash, trim and grate the zucchini – use the regular grate size on your grater, grating too fine may make it too soggy.
Put into a bowl and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside for about 1/2 an hour.
Once the zucchini has sat for about 1/2 an hour, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, using your hands or pressing through a fine mesh colander.
Reserve the liquid you press out, it will be used in the gravy.
Dry out the bowl and put the zucchini back in, add the minced chili, onion, ginger and 2 tbsp of the cilantro (reserve the rest of the cilantro for garnish).
Sift the chickpea flour over the zucchini mixture.
Mix well and form into about 20 balls.
If they’re too large, they won’t cook well in the middle.
I fried them in an Æbleskiver pan or appe pan with a few drops of oil in each ‘hole’. Put 1 kofta in each hole and cook on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes and them turn over and cook on the other side for about 4 minutes. Taste one of the koftas to see if they are cooked.
Once cooked, remove onto a plate and continue till all the koftas are cooked.
You can also deep fry them. If deep-frying, in a skillet or wok, heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in about 5 or 6 of the balls – or as many will fit in one layer with room around each of them. Fry for about 2 minutes, turning them until you get a nice even brown coat.
Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on paper towel. Continue with the rest of the ‘meatballs’, then set aside.
Make the Curry Sauce
Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or saute pan. Heat the oil over medium heat and add onion once the oil is hot.
Fry the onion for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown and become translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, till the raw smell disappears.
Once cooked, take the pan off the heat for a moment and add the turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powders.
Stir and then return to the heat.
Add the tomatoes and let that cook for about 5 minutes to combine flavours.
Add 1 cup of the zucchini ‘juice’ — if you are short, top up with water to reach 1 cup.
Bring to a boil the lower the heat and let the sauce simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
Up to this point, you could prepare the recipe in advance.
To finish, (reheat if you have made in advance), add the cream, garam masala, roasted cumin and salt.
(To roast the cumin powder, just put it in a dry really hot pan for a minute taking care not to burn).
Mix sauce well and bring to a simmer.
Add the ‘meatballs’ and gently spoon the sauce over them, trying not to break any of them.
The meatballs turn soft in the sauce, so only cook enough to warm them through.
Garnish with the reserved fresh cilantro, then serve immediately with basmati rice and/or roti or naan.