Zucchini koftas in tomato coconut sauce

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In my family we are big lovers of Indian food and every so often we have a family gathering and where each family group has to bring a curry. I bought this zucchini koftas in tomato coconut sauce to represent the vegetables and they were a great hit. I recommed buying Indian bay leaves you won’t believe the strong smell they have compared to standard bay leaves. To save time you could swap the fresh tomatoes with a can of crushed tomatoes.

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 Indian bay leaf (tej patta) (use standard if do not have)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp of crushed garlic
1 tsp of crushed ginger
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp red chill powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
300g peeled tomatoes, finely chopped
200 ml light coconut milk
125 ml (½ cup) water
1 tsp lime juice
salt, to season

Zucchini koftas
500g zucchinis
250g potatoes, peeled, boiled
100g spring onions, finely chopped
¼ cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp plain white flour
1 tbsp garam masala
1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped
2 long green chilies, chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, to shallow-fry


For the koftas, grate the zucchinis and mix it with the rest of the kofta ingredients except the oil. The mixture might look a little loose and sticky, but once it hits the oil it will crisp up nicely.

Fill a saucepan with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180ºC. Using your hands, shape the kofta mixture into ping pong-size balls. Fry the kofta, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

For the sauce, heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the bay leaf and cinnamon. Once they sizzle, add the ginger and garlic, all the ground spices and the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes cook down completely and form mushy paste. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick, mix in the coconut milk.

Return the mixture to the pan, add water if needed and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the lime juice and mix well. Add the koftas and lightly shake the pan to coat in the sauce. Season with the salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick. The sauce gets thicker as it sits, so if you plan to serve it later, add a splash of water and reheat before serving.

Recipe was adopted from Kulsum Kunwa.


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