The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Aloo Kofta

Now that we’re back from the wedding, I’m getting to the important business of cooking from my new cookbooks. I’m on a bit of a meat hangover from South Africa; it’s not a complaint, but after three weeks straight of meat-heavy mains, with biltong and droewors (dried jerky or sausage) to snack on during the day, I was seriously worried about developing gout.

I’ve been really enjoying reading Amanda Hesser’s recipe introductions in The Essential New York Times cookbook, but I didn’t expect the first recipe to jump out to be for Indian food. However, the Aloo Kofta (fried potato cutlets) just made me drool.

I’m not normally one for fried foods, and although vegetarian they definitely don’t count as light. The cakes were very nice and actually quite non-traditional. Instead of drowning them in a thick gravy, they’re served as is. The cumin seeds weren’t tempered, just added in, and I liked the inclusion of the spring onions. I used the white bottoms and the green tops, and added slightly more than the recipe called for lighten the mashed potato a bit further, especially as I wasn’t using peas in the recipe. Strangely the recipe calls for the potaotes to be peeled. Not quite sure where the fun is in that, so I blithely ignored it. I also used my pav bhaji blend instead of garam masala as I prefer the aromatic. Finally, there’s quite a bit of oil. Next time I make these, and I know they’ll be a repeat request by TMM, I’ll use my non-stick frying pan and just enough oil to toast them.

Aloo kofta with baingan bharta & coriander chutney

Aloo kofta with baingan bharta & coriander chutney

Aloo Kofta
Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook (or the original article by Denise Landis)

3 large potatoes
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala blend (I used pav bhaji spice)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped scallions (I used 1/2 bunch)
1 tbsp chopped coriander (I left this out as TMM complained it tasted “green”)
1/2 cup flour
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Oil for frying (Recipe calls for 1 cup, I thought this was far too much!)

Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain well and mash in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch, cumin, masala and lemon juice. Season to taste and then fold in spring onions and coriander. Roll the cutlets into 1-1/2 inch balls and roll in flour to coat. (At this point I flattened the cakes too so they looked more like hash browns). Heat oil in pan, and fry cutlets until golden brown. Blot on paper towels and season again if you must.

To accompany it I made a baingan bharta (curried eggplant) and a zingy coriander-mint chutney. All were delicious the next morning too, even cold.

Happy 4th of July, incidentally. We are celebrating tonight by going to see Bridesmaids (2-for-1 movie night, also my choice) and having leftover vegetable Thai red curry. There are some sparklers kicking around upstairs from Bonfire Night 2009, so who knows. We might still have a bit of excitement later in the evening.

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About tara

Often heard to refrain "I left San Francisco for this?" Formerly homeschooled. Living the dirt-poor post-student expat life in various non-urban areas of England's North. Sanity preserved by cooking yummy foods for a multiple allergy diet.
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