Preparation / Directions:
1. Wash and soak toor dal for a few hours. Drain and grind to a course paste along with onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles. (I do this by chopping the large ingredients and blending with the dal in batches. Add enough water so the blender pastes, but not so much that it turns to watery mush.) Mix in salt and (optionally) cilantro leaves. Form into balls and steam 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool balls. They will obtain a somewhat rubbery texture as they cool.
2. Gently heat buttermilk/yogurt in a pan. Add spices (ground coriander, cumin, channa dal, fenugreek, turmeric) and enough dried coconut to give a nice flavor and slightly thicken the sauce. (I add all these ingredients to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder.) Add ginger and chiles. Add salt to taste. Adjust spices. It will taste like it's missing something until you add the flavored oil.
3. Carefully place kofta balls into sauce.
4. Heat a little oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds stop bursting, add oil into the curry. You may want to partially cover pan to prevent seeds from popping grease all over your kitchen.
If you use non-fat yogurt, there is only 2 T oil in the whole dish