Kofta Khan

Like Genghis Khan, we must ever be challenged by gaining more ground; except that with G. it was Asia and with us, it’s just cuisine. Our efforts, much like his barbaric hordes, have now extended into India, though we didn’t suffer any loss of life. The epicurean foil upon which we sailed into spiciest India was in the form of Spinach Koftas with Curried Yogurt and Naan.

Part of the fun of making this was that we had to hunt for the ingredients. The Top 3 Hardest Things To Find were: chickpea flour, nigella seeds (a.k.a. black onion seeds) and curry leaves. We really weren’t holding out much hope of finding the seeds or the leaves but, remarkably, we did; they were both at The Cookbook Company. The flour we finally found at Community Natural Foods. Our adventure had begun before we even got into the kitchen!

It was with curiosity that we started cooking. First up was the naan, a flatbread with nigella seeds for which we found the recipe for on the interweb somewhere. Because of the rising, it was a 2-hour affair and luckily, our yeast wasn’t stale. Next, we made the curried yogurt sauce- this is where the leaves came into play; there was also garlic, turmeric, onion and fenugreek. After thickening, it was still a pretty loose sauce so we gave the recipe (from the Slow Foods cookbook) the benefit of the doubt and left it to cool while we prepared the final part, the spinach koftas.

I looked it up: a kofta is apparently a mixture of almost any vegetable ingredients mashed together with something that will make it sticky enough to form into balls. It’s also, it would seem, a band in Japan…? Cool T-shirts.

So, mash together spinach, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, water and some other stuff and form into 1-inch balls. Boil some oil. I think it’s safe to say that we were both pretty nervous about the deep-frying. We don’t have a deep fryer or anything that fancy so it was a just a big, scalding-hot pool of canola oil in a pot perched on a back burner of our electric stove. I held the splatter screen at the ready and, mentally, had the baking soda standing by. Marc dropped the first one into the pot and we both flinched in anticipation of hot oil splatter but it was nothing so dramatic. In fact, not dramatic at all but rather fun. In went the spinach balls for a few seconds and out came crisp, golden koftas. Interesting fact: Genghis Khan’s enemies once boiled alive his captured generals. No oil then but I’m guessing plenty of splatter.

Meanwhile, the naan had been crisping away in a hot oven and was done almost simultaneously with the koftas. We plated everything, pulled the bottle of our beloved Evolution from the fridge, and sat down with great anticipation. And the verdict is: Like. It was all very tasty and more enjoyable for the fact that it was so fun for us to make but alas, it was nothing extraordinary. Good leftovers if one doesn’t have an afternoon meeting (very onion-y). The wine, as always, was outstanding.

So, like, what do we do with the remaining 5 ounces of curry leaves?

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