Kofta Kebabs In Spicy Cream Sauce (Malai Kofta)

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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2 large russet potatoes -- boiled, peeled -- mashed
1/2 cup green peas -- fresh or frozen
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium fresh hot green chile chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
1 tablespoon raisins
3/4 cup chick-pea flour or corn flour -- (see note)
1 cup water
3 Cup mild vegetable oil for deep frying
8 whole cashew nuts
2 whole cloves
1 dash nutmeg
1/2 piece cinnamon stick
1 clove garlic -- peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion -- grated
1 dash turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation / Directions:

Kofta, a classic dish of Moghul origin, is one of the most important preparations of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Traditionally, koftas are simmered in a delicate sauce and turned into a curried main dish. These kebabs are wonderful served as cocktail appetizers with a yogurt or fruity dipping sauce. THE KOFTA: Combine potatoes, peas, cheese, chile, coriander, cumin, salt, cashews and raisins. Form mixture into 1-inch balls. Make a batter with the flour and water. Season with pinch of salt, if desired. Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan. Dip balls into batter to coat completely, and deep-fry until brown (do not crowd), about 4 minutes. Set aside. (If you want the kebabs to remain firm, put them on a heated serving platter, and tent with foil. To serve, bring cream sauce to a boil and pour over kebabs.) THE SAUCE: Grind cashews, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic with a little water to make a fine paste. Set aside. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and Sauté until wilted; stir in ground paste and cook 2 minutes. Add turmeric, paprika, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir in half-and-half and water. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. (May be prepared 2 days ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated.) Stir in cream and kofta kebabs. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Note: Chick-pea flour (also called gram flour or besan) may be purchased at Indian grocery stores.

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