Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paneer and cucumber kofta curry

I have been quite neglecting the blog off late. Having enjoyed a month long vacation, getting back to routine was taking longer than usual for me. Not that I did not settle down quickly, it is just that I was not able to make a post to share a recipe. Meanwhile, with the advent of the new year, looking for some motivation in this direction, I joined few of my friends who are planning fun exercises every week, and a group who will bake some interesting breads. Thus I hope that I will keep this little space active and will get back in the groove.
In December, I baked a few cakes to gift friends for the festive season. I am thankful to the many blogs that detail great recipes. Baking those was truly good and I may be baking them again, when I shall share them here too.
Day to day cooking lacks variety if we do not try some recipes from others like cookbooks, recipes shared by friends or other blogs. We have a choice of many vegetables that can work well in curries and gravies. I tend to include vegetables that my husband does not like, in soups or disguised curries. He will refuse right away vegetables like winter melons, bottle gourd, pumpkins and few others if cooked in regular South Indian style kootu or curry. Thus, I am compelled to add them in other recipes where he will hardly notice their presence.
For the thiruvadhirai festival, a kootu is prepared with a number of winter vegetables in one dish. When I buy a number of vegetables for such festive preparations, I am left with some that you need to buy in pieces than weight. I had this yellow cucumber and wanted to use it up quickly.
Needless to say, the gravy and the koftas were consumed with relish.

For koftas:
1/2 of a big yellow cucumber
1/4 cup crumbles paneer
1 teaspoon dry mint leaves
1 fresh green chilli minced fine
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 tablespoon bread crumbs

1 tablespoon bengal gram flour mixed with little amount of rice flour

Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

For the gravy:
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
4 medium tomatoes
1" piece ginger
1/8 th teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 cup thick coconut milk
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil

For Koftas:
Peel the yellow cucumber and grate it. Squeeze the water out and use the shreds. The drained liquid can be added to the gravy.
To the shredded vegetable, add the crumbled paneer, minced chilli, salt, garam masala powder, crushed dry mint leaves and the bread crumbs. Mix well and shape in small balls.
Make a medium thick paste with the gram flour and rice flour mix with some salt.
Heat the oil for deep frying.
While the oil is heating, roll the koftas in the flour paste just enough to coat them thinly.
Deep fry in hot oil until done well.
Drain on kitchen tissues and keep aside.

For the gravy:
Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain the water and remove the peel.
Cool them and blend to a puree. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions. Sauté the onions until they are pink and translucent and then add the ginger and toss another minute.
Add the tomato puree, salt, red chilli, coriander and cumin powders. Cook till the oil floats on the surface of the gravy. Add the coconut milk.
Taking care not to over boil the coconut milk, lest it breaks, cook the gravy for a few minutes before adding the koftas into the gravy.
Allow it to stay on heat for a couple of minutes further.

Remove from the stove and transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve hot with rotis, phulkas or any type of mildly flavoured rice.


  1. Love kofta curry anyday. Your Paneer and cucumber curry looks so delicious with the beautiful koftas nestled in the creamy sauce. Excellent idea to incorporate cucumber. Adding coconut milk is new to me..will try it next time I make kofta curry.

  2. Super Clicks Lataji!!! Love that mat there!!! very striking color!!! yellow cucumber i have made only kootu!!! Kofta looks very tempting!!

  3. A very warm and a big hug welcome back to u Lata. The kofta curry looks very droolworthy and moreover the addition of cucumber for kofta makes it very interesting and innovative too.

  4. My dad always made koftas with sorakkai since we wouldn't eat it any other way... following a similar strategy as yours :) Haven't tried kofta with cucumber before... looks great and the coconut milk is such a nice touch.

  5. Camouflaging the veggies so that the spouse consumes it is ! We wives are all guilty of the act. THis is a smart recipe!

  6. Delicious kofta curry that too with cucumber, so yumm.

  7. cucumber and paneer interesting, I have to give this a try.., looks yummmy..,

  8. first time here.yummy.happy to follow you.check mine if you have time.

  9. wow... delicious looking curry.... mouth watering..

  10. Perfect Koftas. Looks super good.

  11. Like your addition of yellow cucumber to the kofta.

  12. Paneer and cucumber kofta gravy looks superb. I have never tried using these yellow cucumbers in cooking. Whenever I buy it, I cut it, add some sugar, leave it for sometime and then relish it.

  13. yummy kofta.. love it

  14. Just speechless,paneer and cucumber in kofta,thats truly very unique akka.

  15. Nice idea of using cucumber in koftas. I've never attempted koftas, am afraid they won't form!

  16. Looks so yummy.
    Do you mean pumpkin as yellow cucumber
    Can we steam cook the koftas instead of deep frying like paruppu urundai?

    1. not pumpkin, the big cucumber that has yellow on the outer skin and a bit ripened. It is what we use to make kootu.

    2. Sorry about half the reply. I have not tried steaming, but that seems an idea. May have to have some ingredient that might bind and hold shape.


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I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.