This Vegan Restaurant-Style Curry With Koftas recipe is the ultimate Indian comfort food. Picture crispy potato and chickpea dumplings in a creamy, spiced Indian gravy that will make your tastebuds sing.
In this recipe, we make easy swaps for all non-vegan ingredients using potatoes and chickpeas as a base for the “meatballs” or “vegan kofta”. The result is the most delicious, richest tasting, better-than-restaurant style vegan malai kofta.
This vegan malai kofta will quickly shoot up to one of your favorite dishes. The acidity in the tomatoes helps to balance the heat of the chili powder, ginger, and cayenne. There are several variations of this recipe and you can make it with all the spices for a really elaborate process or shorten it like this one with a few spices and garam masala.
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Vegan Restaurant-Style Curry With Koftas
- For the kofta balls:
- 1/4 cup 50 g shelled hemp seeds Or pumpkin seeds or almond flour or chopped cashews
- 1 cup 210 g heaping cup cubed potato or 1 cup grated/shredded potato, raw (1 medium potato)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 15 oz 430 g can chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt depends on if using salted or unsalted chickpeas I used 3/4 tsp
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin preferably roasted or use Dry toasted whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbsp oat flour or regular flour Or other flour of choice
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch or other starch
- a generous pinch of baking soda
- For the gravy - Makes 1.5 cups sauce
- 2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 1 cup 160 g chopped red onion
- 1 1- inch knob of ginger chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 1/2 cups 225 g chopped tomato fresh or canned
- 1/4 cup 30 g raw cashews, See note for nut-free
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 120 ml water or unsweetened almond or other nondairy milk divided
- 1/2 teaspoon 3 g sugar
- Koftas: Process the hemp seeds or nuts until you have a coarse meal. Add potato and process until coarse. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until most of the chickpeas have broken down but not a paste. (Without processor, use nut or seed flour and grated potato. Then mash chickpeas and mix)
- The potato will leak moisture in the mixture in some seconds making it easy to make smooth balls. Do not let the mixture sit for too long at this point. Add more flour or starch if the mixture is too moist. Add a tbsp nutritional yeast for cheesier flavor profile.
- Take 2 to 3 Tbsp of the mixture and make round or football-shaped balls - 1.5-inch size or smaller so they cook through. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 F (218 C). For 20 minutes. Or pan-fry in 1/2 inch oil for 5 to 6 minutes until golden on most sides.
- Gravy: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander, and bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until slightly golden on some edges, 2 minutes. Add the onion and ginger, and cook until golden, 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the turmeric, cayenne, and garam masala, and mix for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato, cashews, 1/4 cup water, and salt and cook until the tomatoes are saucy, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender.
- Blend the mixture with 1/4 cup water until smooth.
- Bring the gravy to a boil, add baked kofta balls and serve. Garnish with some cashew cream or other on dairy cream and cilantro. Serve with Naan or rice.
- I used raw potatoes in the balls as they get cooked easily. You can use pre-cooked/boiled potatoes as well. The balls with precooked will cook faster so you want to keep an eye on them so that they don’t overcook & dry out
- For a pretty restaurant-style presentation, garnish with some cashew cream or other nondairy cream and chopped cilantro.
To store: store the balls and sauce separately until ready to serve.
They will both keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.