I had my first version of these made for me years and years ago when I first joined the ship, by the ships First Officer at the time, Vincent. I believe his recipe originate from time he spent with the Hare Krishnas. Koftas were something I had never had before and absolutely loved them, making them every since for crew, for parties and also for a couple of wedding buffets last year. It is such an easy dish to make and can be put together with so many different sauces and sides. It is also very cheap once you have a well stocked herb and spice cupboard, which is somehting I highly recommend you get! To me herbs and spices are the complete backbone of vegan cooking! See my posts part one and two about my pantry staples to get an idea of the supplies that are good to have in house if you are getting serious about cooking. I admit that while only just getting to the end of ripping our house apart and putting it all back together I don’t even have all of these yet… but I am working on it. First I could do with some actually shelves!
The thing to remember with this recipe is depending on how much water content your veg has in already, you may or may not need the extra water, and you may need more chickpea flour. I recommend added the chickpea flour suggested first and a couple of tablespoons of the water, clump mixture together in your hands into a walnut sized shape and do a test Kofta. You should be able to see clearly if the mixture is too dry and needs more water.
Once you think you have the mixture right heat your oil in a wok or none stick deep frying pan and add a tiny bit on mixture to test temperature. If it sizzles up to top and starts to cook its ready. If it sinks its not hot enough. If it starts to smoke and burn staright away its way to hot. You want it the gently bubble around the mixture.
Then add your test kofta. If it falls apart it needs you need more chickpea flour, and maybe a drop of water to make it a little paste and batter like. If it holds together and floats and starts to gently turn golden brown your on to a winner. Always best to do a check before accidently wasting all your mixture.
These Cabbage Koftas work great as a side dish with some chilli sauce and vegan raita dip. Or serve as a main course on a bed on brown rice or quinoa, topped with some Tomato Chilli Sauce, vegan raita or yogurt and fresh coriander.
Yields approx 20 Koftas
- 1/2 a savoy cabbage
- 2 small onions
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground corinader
- 1/2 tsp each of turmeric, cumin. dried parsley and paprika
- 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder and ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (based on preference)
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
- up to 1/2 cup water (if needed)
- Oil to fry, preferably sunflower or vegetable oil, or other of choice with a high smoke point
- Finely shred the cabbage, onions and carrots. This can be done in either a food processor or with a knife and hand grater if you don’t have one. Place in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on the salt.
- Massage in the salt for a minute or two with your hands to help coat the veggies. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to let the vegetables relax and soften.
- While waiting for veg, measure all of your spices out and mix up in a small bowl. Then throw on top of veg and mix in with either your hands or wooden spoon.
- Sift chickpea flour and add bit by bit to the cabbage, stirring with a wooden spoon. The idea is to create an almost pasty batter like mix. its best to get your hands in to make sure your have covered all of the cabbage mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of the water to start with and mix. You want to mixture to hold together into little walnut sized balls. If it seems dry add more water bit by bit ( see above recipe to more info on how to get this perfect)
- Once you have created your kofta batter, start to heat you oil in a wok or non stick deep frying pan. You want a couple of inches of oil to fry properly, you could also use a deep fat fryer if you have one. Test oil temperature by add a little mixture. If it bubbles and floats on the top turning golden brown its ready, if it sinks its not yet hot enough.
- Test run one Kofta by shaping batter in your hands into a bite sized ball and drop into hot oil. You want it to hold its shape and gentle bubble and turn brown. Turn kofta in oil after a few minutes to cook evenly. Cook for approx 10 minutes , or until evenly browned and crispy. Turn heat down if starting to burn!
- Continue to add Kofta batter to oil and cook until all mixture is done. You will have to do batches, so once cooked place them on some kitchen roll to soak up excess oil and cook your next batch.
- When finished serve up as either a side, starter and main. Goes great with hot dipping sauce or sweet chilli.