Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bengali Special - Raw Banana Kofta Curry

Better known in Bengali as Kaanch (nasal twang there, meaning raw) Kolaar (Kaw-Laar, meaning of banana) Daalna (I have no idea what this means in any other language so let's play safe and call it curry, okay?).

I remember mum making this a few times. Of course, we wanted more, and we never managed to successfully convey that it was THIS that we were wailing for every night in our nightmares. So I waited until I could grow up, remember the name and then make it too.

Hah! I love the fact that women can do just about anything. Look at me, for instance. As I was making this, I was keeping P successfully out of the kitchen, watching television, cooking of course AND taking those photos because most people have told me they like step-by-step recipes. Almost as good as video blogging.

This does take a wee bit of an effort, but I am keeping it as simple as I possibly can so don't throw a fit already. Make it on a Sunday. That way, after you are through with the cooking, you can go and collapse on your bed.

No, it definitely does not mean the recipe is exhausting. I am just thinking of how hot it gets in my kitchen in Hyderabad, AND in summers, to add to it.

Am I ranting a lot about the heat? I'm sorry...maybe if I don't rant about it, it won't feel as bad. Right on to the recipe then.

You will need:

For the koftas -
2 raw bananas
2 tbsp besan / powdered chana dal / chickpea flour
A bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder

For the curry -

1 large onion chopped fine
2 large tomatoes chopped fine
1-2 bay leaves
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A dash of fresh cream
A few sprigs of coriander leaves
Water (2 cups should be sufficient but it depends on how much gravy you need)

Here's what you do:

Pressure cook the raw bananas. never do this whole - you will get nowhere in life and the bananas will sneer at you. Cut them in half and pressure cook for two whistles. Once they are out, use a masher to mash them along with the besan, chopped coriander leaves, ginger-garlic paste, salt and red chilli powder. You can also use green chillies chopped finely in case you do not adore red chilli powder. I don't adore it much, so I use green chillies chopped fine. Shape them into adorable looking koftas.

Now, take a kadhai and heat sufficient oil. Deep fry the koftas until they are a rich golden brown.

Set aside your koftas and then, when nobody is watching, nibble at one. On the pretext of checking the salt. Laugh secretly because you got an extra kofta to eat while the world will eat fewer.

Now, drain away the excess oil, and in the same oil, add the bay leaves, chopped onion and fry nicely until pink. Add the ginger garlic paste and continue stirring.

Now add the tomatoes. Follow up with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Toss about until the oil separates from the tomatoes.

Now, add water. Just when it starts simmering, add some heavy fresh cream. Mix well. Cover and let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes.

Now add the garam masala powder. Stir well. Let it boil.

When the water had reduced, add the koftas. Adjust salt. Cover and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Do not stir.

When it's ready, turn off the heat and transfer gently into your serving bowl - don't bulldoze the koftas - they are likely to be a bit tender from all the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatis or rice - whatever suits you!

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