Koftas, a name of Persian origin, are meatballs made from beef, lamb, chicken or pork or a combination of them with spices and onion. These minced meatballs are commonly found in the cuisines of South Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Central Asia. In India, there are delicious vegetarian specialties that combine vegetables with potatoes.

The koftas in India are served in curry or with some spicy sauce, they can even be accompanied with boiled eggs, boiled rice or with some variety of Indian bread, such as a chapati. In other Middle Eastern countries they are served with spicy sauces. In Greece these meatballs are served with yogurt or Tzatziki.

This recipe is a version of the Vegetarian Koftas , so popular in India. They are made with cauliflower, potato, red lentil and are spiced with garam masala. These are juicy meatballs, with a crunchy point thanks to the cashew nuts and a sweet touch due to the dates. They are served with a double sauce composed of yogurt and a natural mint-lime syrup.

It is a very versatile recipe because you can enjoy them as a starter or an appetizer as a main dish accompanied by basmati rice or they are a fantastic filling for pita bread with the same sauce.

Pallarès carbon steel knife , La Croquetera croquette and meatball tongs and Skeppshult cast iron skillet

Ingredients (for 4 people)

For the meatballs:

  • 450g of old (or floury) potatoes
  • 300g cauliflower (just the florets)
  • 75g of red lentils
  • 60g of rice flour
  • 75gr of cashews
  • 4 Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 25g grated ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons of water
  • 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 lime
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 Greek yogurt

Elaboration

  1. Peel, clean and cut the potatoes and boil in salted water. Go through the mill and reserve. Also boil the red lentils for 10 to 15 minutes, drain and reserve.
  2. Peel clean and finely chop the onion. Peel and chop the garlic. Grate the ginger . Chop the dates. Coarsely chop the cashews. Pass the cauliflower through the food processor until it is about the size of rice grains.
  3. In a frying pan (I have used an iron one, the Skeppshult) with 2 tablespoons of oil, sauté the onion for 5 minutes until it has softened. Add the ginger, garlic and garam masala and let it roast for a couple of minutes. Add the cauliflower and saute 10 more minutes until the cauliflower is cooked.
  4. Separately chop the cashews coarsely and sauté with a few drops of oil in the pan.
  5. In a bowl , mix the potatoes, lentils, cauliflower mixture, along with the cashews and dates. Add salt and pepper. Knead well with rice flour and water. If you notice that they are not consistent, add a little more rice flour. (its consistency will depend on the type of potato used)
  6. Shape the koftas with the help of 2 spoons or the croquette maker (it has worked better for me, so that they are all the same size). Coat them in a little rice flour to make them more manageable. Fry in abundant hot oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
  7. Prepare the mint-lime sauce. In an arm blender , mix the minced mint with the juice of one lime and 2 tablespoons of agave syrup and chop until a fine syrup is left.
  8. Serve the meatballs on a bed of Greek yogurt and the mint-lime sauce. Enjoy them a lot inside a pita bread or accompanied by Indian basmati rice.

Pallarès carbon steel knife , Skeppshult cast iron skillet and tongs for croquettes and meatballs La Croquetera

Author of the recipe: Olga Vila fromPepita Greens

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