Shaam Savera – Spinach & Cottage Cheese Balls in Tomato Gravy

Posted: April 11, 2016 in Curries, Indian, Main Course, North Indian, Punjabi
Tags: , , , ,

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As I promised myself to post recipes of many of the dishes I made in 2015, I am trying to live up to it. It was tough to choose a specific one from the pool but I picked this one since I love this dish a lot. Its closer to my heart since it won as the ‘best dish’ in the food event at my husband’s office. This is one of the famous recipe of the chef Sanjeev Kapoor and it was showcased in Masterchef India too. Its a hard core ‘Punjabi recipe’ since its rich with cashew paste and cream, melt-in-mouth fried koftas and delicious gravy. Ooh la la, I am drooling. If you are a ‘calorie conscious’ person,  you will definitely need tweaks to make it low on calories. You will not be able to resist temptation of this alluring dish. I have tried both the versions and the no-fry-no-cream-no cashew version tastes as good as the original one. I have tried my best to replicate this dish but don’t know if it will match up to what was made by the great Sanjeev Kapoor, nevertheless, I am very satisfied with the end result. Please check the Notes section where I have mentioned some points for making this dish in alternate way keeping healthy options in mind. I hope you like it. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients :-

For Koftas :-

Fresh Spinach Leaves 5 bunch
Cottage Cheese/Paneer 1 cup
Salt  to taste
Green Cardamom Powder  1-2 pinch
Oil 2 tablespoon
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Garlic, finely chopped 6-7 cloves
Green Chilli, finely chopped 5-6 
Gram flour(besan) 4 tablespoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon
Corn flour/Corn starch 1/4 cup
Oil, for deep frying as required

For Makhani Gravy :-

Tomato, roughly chopped 10-15
Oil  2 tablespoon
Green Cardamom 10-12
Garlic Chopped 10-15 cloves
Salt to taste
Red chili powder 2 1/2 teaspoon
Butter 1/2 cup
Fenugreek leaves (methi), roasted and powdered 2 teaspoons
Honey 3 teaspoons
Fresh cream 1/4 cup
Boiled cashew paste 2 tablespoon

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Method :-

  • Blanch the spinach leaves in 4-5 cup of water for 2 minutes. Drain and put it in cold water or ice water.
  • Drain out all the water and then chop it finely. Keep it aside to cool in a bowl.
  • In other bowl mash the paneer along with salt and cardamom powder. Divide it into 8 -12 equal portions and roll into bowls.
  • Heat two tablespoon oil in a non stick pan and add cumin seed. After 2 minutes add garlic and green chilies and saute for 1 minute. Add the gram flour and saute for 1-2 minutes till gram flour gets little roasted and starts giving nutty flavor. Add the turmeric powder and stir.
  • Add the spinach and salt and saute. Keep stirring it continuously until the mixture is dry and starts leaving the sides of pan. Keep it aside to cool. Divide the spinach into as many equal portions as paneer balls.
  • Take water in a bowl and wet your palms. Take each spinach portion , flatten it onto your palm and place a paneer ball in the center. Gather the edges together and shape into a ball. Take cornstarch in a plate. Roll the stuffed spinach balls into it and shake the ball lightly to get rid of extra cornstarch. In same way make all the spinach balls.  Don’t forget to wet your palm with water in between as the spinach mixture can get sticky.
  • Heat oil for deep frying in pan. Gently slide the spinach balls when oil is hot and fry on low to medium heat until it turns golden brown. Drain it onto an absorbent paper and keep it aside.
  • Alternatively you can prepare a baking tray by spraying oil on it. Place the Spinach balls in it. Bake it for 15 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit and then broil it for 2-3 minutes on one side and again 2-3 minutes on other side.
  • For makhni gravy puree the tomatoes till smooth. Heat the oil in a deep non stick pan as the gravy tends to splutter a lot. Add the butter along with two tablespoon of oil as butter tends to burn.
  • When butter is hot add Green cardamoms and finely chopped garlic. Cook it for 1 minute and then add tomato puree. Let it cook until the rawness of tomatoes goes off and the puree leaves the oil. It will take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add boiled cashew paste and cook it for more 5 minutes. Add salt, honey, fenugreek leaves, red chilli powder and cook it for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and let it simmer. Add the cream and cook for 2 minutes more. Your makhani gravy is ready.
  • Pour the makhani gravy into a serving bowl and place the koftas on the gravy and serve immediately. 
  • If you are not serving immediately keep the koftas and makhani gravy separately. While serving reheat both of them seperately and serve together as Koftas will turn soggy if kept for long in the gravy and reheated. Enjoy it with Naan or Tandoori Roti. 

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Note:-

  • You can even use garlic paste instead of chopped garlic in the makhani gravy.
  • For the healthier version you can skip the butter and cream part. Instead of cream add 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Instead of making your own tomato puree you can use 2 cup of ready made tomato puree. But mind you the homemade puree tastes much better and gives a character to the dish. I personally like the homemade one.
  • Original dish didn’t demand for cashew paste so you can skip it. If trying for healthier version add 2 tablespoon of boiled almond paste.
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