Do you love Indian food?
Is that a stupid question?
I’m sure some people aren’t big fans, but even the pickiest eaters I know go nuts for Indian – it’s kinda like sushi that way.
I have always loved Indian food, and my absolute favourite dish to order is Malai Kofta. It’s a thick, creamy tomato sauce with cheese dumplings. I then order fresh baked naan, saffron rice and maybe – as an appetizer – some deep-fried vegetable pakora…
Yeah, Indian food can also be heavy! And trust me, regular Malai Kofta is not vegan.
Now, I’m not vegan myself, but when I see a chance to lighten up a recipe and make it suitable for my lovely vegan friends and blog readers, I’ll do it!
It should be noted: my knowledge of Indian cooking is next to nothing. I have a lovely Indian lady who is one of our next-door neighbours who has given me some pointers, but beyond what I’ve picked up from her and other chefs I have met, I am still as clueless as ever.
I tried my hand with this delicious Riso alla Orientale and this Tofu Curry, and both are great, but I still wasn’t confident to just launch out on my own. So I turned to a great blog for ideas before trying this recipe out myself – this is adapted from Spices ‘n’ Aroma‘s wonderful blog.
So give it a try and see what you think; I may still have failed you if you are going to compare this to your favourite Indian restaurant’s takeout. But for an at-home, vegan version with a fraction of the calories, I hope you like it!
Vegan Malai Kofta (adapted from here)
INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaped tsp minced ginger
1 heaped tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 ripe tomatoes
5 tbsp almond meal + about 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup silken tofu + 1-2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Fresh cilantro (around 1/2 cup chopped, or to taste)
8 falafel balls (I used Veggie Patch falafels I buy ready-made at the store. Otherwise you can use my recipe here)
1 cup basmati rice
2.5 cups water
2 pinches saffron
1. Heat oil in large pan. Add garlic and ginger, stirfry 2 mins. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir 30 seconds.
2. Puree tomatoes in blender. Add to frying pan. Turn heat down and let it simmer for 30 minutes, until thick like a paste. In the meantime, add rice, water and saffron to a separate saucepan and let boil and cook.
3. Mix almond meal and water till it forms a paste. Add to tomato mixture, simmer 3-4 mins. Gradually add water until it forms the consistency of sauce you want (you might not need the full half cup). Then puree the tofu with water to form a paste and fold that in. Sprinkle in garam masala. Add in falafel balls.
4. Let simmer 5-6 minutes. Serve kofta over rice and sprinkle over cilantro.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving, if serves 4):
– 1.2g saturated fat
– 5.8g fibre