Recipes | Food Creates Magic – Tofu Malai Koftas and Stuffed Okra for Dinner with a Blogger Friend
“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.” ~ Mindy Kaling. I have experienced the same during many of the regular family meets with hubby’s office-mates. When everyone else would be seriously involved in discussing Cinema, TV serials, fashion world, latest gadgets to who is the best dressed man/woman, the feeling of being left alone in crowd really scares me out.
I always find myself sitting silently, smiling often, nodding at every comment and trying hard to make my presence felt and to hide my disinterest in the subjects discussed. Often wondering when the table would turn and the topics shift to food, art, photography, gardening, old songs….someday.
When I called a blogger friend Charan Saravana for dinner, who writes on current topics, life in general, movies, and has a unique writing style, I was wondering what will be the topic of interest among all of us.
But little did I know that sharing ‘Food’ bridges cultures, breaks language barriers, evokes memories, binds emotions and creates lasting friends.
And I was really surprised to know how much common ground we all share, true to this saying “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
I normally keep the menu simple and stick to cooking Indian food for the first time diners at home. The evening started off with a homemade crush and some healthy sweet and savory Canapes. The main course had two very popular Indian recipes, Malai Koftas and stuffed Okra with slight changes.
Here is one another version of Malai Koftas using Cottage cheese or Paneer I often make during most of the parties we arrange at a friends house.
1. Tofu Malai Koftas
- 1/2 cup Tofu
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 tbsp. milk powder
- 2 tsp. cornflour
- 1 green chilly
- Coriander leaves
- Salt as desired
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 large onions
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp. melon seeds
- 2 tbsp. fresh cream
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 3 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 tsp red chilly powder
- 2 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp. Garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Method; Boil and mash potatoes. Crumble Tofu into small pieces. Wash and chop green chilly and coriander leaves.
In a large bowl add mashed potatoes, crumbled Tofu and rest of the ingredients except oil.
Knead lightly to make a soft dough. Pinch small portions of dough and roll into small balls or Koftas.
Heat oil and deep fry the Koftas in small batches till they turn golden brown in colour. Take out and place them on a tissue paper to remove excess oil.
You can even bake these koftas if you are concern about fat in the recipe.
Peel, chop and grind onions. Chop tomatoes roughly and grind them separately.
Heat oil add cloves, cardamom, onion paste and sauté till raw smell disappear from onion paste.
Add tomato puree, garam masala powder, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar and keep sauteing for 7-8 minutes.
Make the consistency of the gravy according to your liking by adding water in it.
Crush fenugreek leaves using your palm and add it in the gravy.
Soak cashew nuts and melon seeds (magaz) in 1/4 cup of milk for an hour and grind into fine paste with the milk.
Heat 1 tsp oil and sauté this white paste for a few seconds. Add rest of the milk and cook further for 3-4 minutes.
Add salt as desired. This gravy is to give creamy texture and exotic touch to the recipe.
To serve these Tofu Malai koftas, place the koftas in a serving dish, pour the red gravy followed by white gravy and fresh cream.
2. Stuffed Okra
I always use dry red chilly powder to make the stuffing, but in this recipe I soaked the dry red chilies and used it along with other spices. Paste of dry red chilies give a body to the stuffing and makes it more tasty as well.
Here is another version of stuffed okra with peanut butter stuffing you might like to make.
- 30-40 small and tender Okra
- 2 medium onions
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. water
- 4-5 dry red chillies
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin seed powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Method: Wash and wipe all the okra (ladies fingers) with a kitchen towel.
Trim the head and tail part of okra. Peel and chop the onions.
Soak red chilies in warm water for 20 minutes, drain and grind into paste with chopped onions.
Take out the red chilly paste in a bowl and add ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, salt and mix well.
Make a slit in all the okra using a knife. Fill the okra with a tsp of the above stuffing and close it lightly.
Heat oil in a large flat pan and gently place all the stuffed Okras in it. Add any leftover stuffing in the pan. Stir it lightly without the stuffing coming out from the Okra.
Close the pan with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Turn the Okras and cook further for 3-4 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or flat breads.
There is more to the dinner menu…
Yummy starters (I made a quick second batch on popular demand) and the two easy & decadent Desserts do need a separate blogpost…Food, friends and fun, pictures to come…Stay connected!
- Do not add Koftas in the gravy earlier, as the koftas will soak all the gravy, become soggy and crumble.
- Replace Tofu with cottage cheese for a different version of the recipe.
- Add boiled carrots, peas, bottle gourd, sweet potato or cauliflower along with potatoes to make koftas.
- Replace milk powder with Khoya or condescend milk or omit it altogether.
- For yet another delicious version of the Koftas, reduce red gravy of onion & tomatoes and add more of white cashew nut gravy.