Courgette Koftas in an Almond andTomato Sauce
A casserole you will be happy to take from stove top to table.
750g courgettes, grated
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
90g -100g chickpea flour
200g haloumi, grated
1 tsp paprika
2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
3 tbs fresh coriander
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
To deep fry:
1 litre sunflower oil for deep frying.
For the sauce
6 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 – 6 hot green chillies, or to your taste
4 cm chunk fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
3 tbs ground almonds
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
A pinch freshly grated nutmeg
6 tbs sunflower oil
A small bunch fresh coriander
Basmati rice and yoghurt, optional
Start by making the tomato sauce.
Blend the tomatoes, chilli, ginger and spices to a smooth puree.
Salt to taste.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add in the blended ingredients.
Cook over a high heat for a few minutes, then reduce and simmer for about 30 minutes, adding about 125ml of water or light stock, to keep the sauce moving and more if you need to.
Meanwhile squeeze the grated courgette of its excess liquid, one handful at a time. There will be a lot of liquid!
Place all the kofta ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan so it’s about 6 cm deep, adding more oil if necessary, yet making sure that it doesn’t rise more than two thirds of the way up the pan.
Use two tablespoons to drop the mixture into the hot oil, a few koftas at a time. You can lightly roll the koftas in your lightly floured hands first, if they seem a little wet.
Fry for 2 – 3 minutes till evenly browned, turning them over gently with two forks.
Lift them out of the oil and drain on layers of kitchen paper.
You can eat these as they are with just a little squeezed lemon and some salt, or with some garlic rich yoghurt.
But as a main course, they are marvellous with this rich sauce.
When the sauce is hot and the koftas ready, carefully lower them into the sauce and gently cook together for about 3 – 4 minutes.
Garnish with the fresh coriander and serve with basmati rice and if you wish, a drizzle of herby yoghurt.