Friday, November 12, 2010

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Koftas

     I have this vegetarian cookbook that my mom bought me when I was about 14 (I'm sure she was hoping I would take the hint and learn how to cook. It only took about 10 years for me to get started on that.) Recently, though, I have been flipping through the book, trying to figure out some new recipes to make, and I stumbled across a recipe for koftas made from sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
     Now, in the past I have attempted to make Malai Kofta, a delicious Indian dish with vegetable balls made from potato dough served in a delicious spicy, creamy tomato sauce, but failed miserably. When I stumbled across this recipe for sweet potato and chickpea koftas, I was intrigued by the author's technique, and as I had sweet potatoes on the verge of going bad and some chickpeas in my cabinet, I decided I needed to make myself some koftas. Below you will find the recipe (slightly tweaked, but otherwise unaltered) for these sweet potato and chickpea koftas, additionally I am going to list a recipe for some good raita (an Indian yogurt-based dip/sauce) which goes along well with the koftas, and, if you prefer to turn them into a curry, I will also include my recipe for malai kofta gravy.
So, without further adieu, the recipes:

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Koftas:
(taken from Vegetable Heaven by Mollie Katzen) 

1-2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 to 2 cups of chickpeas (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
1 large clove of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pepper to taste
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup of peas (optional, I did not use these)
oil for sauteing

Peel and cut your sweet potatoes, then boil them for about 10 minutes until they are soft, and mash them.
In a blender/food processor mix sweet potatoes, chickpeas, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, and pepper, blend until the mixture is well mixed and smooth (this may take a little bit, as the potatoes are thick).
Transfer mixture to a bowl, add flour, and stir well.
Put about 1/4 cup of oil in a frying pan, turn it on med-high heat, and leave it until it gets hot
While the oil is heating up, pat out your dough mixture into little balls
Once oil is hot, place the koftas into the oil, flipping them consistently, until they are golden brown on all sides.
Remove them from heat, sprinkle a little cumin and cinnamon on top, and they are ready!

For a good snack, you can eat them with this Raita:
1 cup of yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cumin, tandoori powder, thyme

Mix all of the ingredients together and serve

If you would prefer to use the koftas for a meal, try them in this Spicy Malai Kofta Gravy:
2-3 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup of diced onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
1 teaspoon each of red chili powder, garam masala, cumin, and red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup of chopped cashews
1/2 cup of golden raisins

Puree everything in a blender, except the onions, milk, cashews, and raisins. In a saucepan, heat a couple tablespoons of oil and add onion, cook until transparent (about 2 minutes).  Place the puree mix in the sauce pan and bring to a boil on med heat, then stir in the cream/milk, whisking for about 2-3 minutes. Add cashews and raisins. Cook for another 5-7 minutes on low heat. 

Place you koftas in the sauce and enjoy!

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