Originally from the Middle Eastern countries and India, kofta which is a meatball dish is now found throughout the world including Southeast Asia. While most koftas are made with meat, vegetarian varieties are found in India where usually one or more types of vegetables are used. As a child, I had always enjoyed Indian dishes as it is one of the staple cuisines in Malaysia. Among the many Indian dishes, I absolutely love the vegetarian koftas. The dish is very easy to prepare without much fuss. If you already have your kitchen equipped with the spices, then this dish should not be missed. I love making koftas and freezing them as meals for the next few weeks. It is also very filling even though it is only made up of vegetables. Plus points if you want to go meatless! Did I already mention that this dish is very flavourful too?
To prepare cabbage kofta or cabbage balls, the cabbage is chopped finely. Ease the process by roughly blending the cabbage until it is fine enough. It should not be blended until it becomes a puree. A bit of liquid may be extracted from the cabbage but it should not be strained. The liquid is needed when gram flour is added to bind the ingredients together and shaped into balls. If gram flour is not available, substitute with other vegetable flour such as dhal flour or all-purpose wheat flour.
Placing the mixed ingredients in the refrigerator for around 10-15 minutes will allow it to set and holds its shape better. Once the cabbage and the ingredients are shaped into balls, they can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.
These cabbage balls may also be baked instead of deep fried. Place the cabbage balls on an oiled tray and bake them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes or until browned. Halfway through baking, turn them around to allow the other side of the cabbage balls to cook evenly.
Vegetarian Cabbage Kofta is also known as: Vegetarian Cabbage Balls
Rinse cabbage to get rid of dirt. Then, chop or blend cabbage into small chunks and mince ginger, coriander and chilli. Add minced ingredients and cumin powder to the cabbage and mix well. Once evenly mixed, add gram flour.
Lightly squeeze the ingredients while mixing. This is to release some moisture from the cabbage. The water and gram flour will act as binding agents.
Shape 1.5 tablespoons of the cabbage mixture into a ball. Continue shaping with the rest of mixture. Fry the cabbage balls in a pan of heated oil over medium heat until evenly browned. Set aside.
Blend tomatoes, chillies, garlic and ginger until smooth. In a preheated pan, add a tablespoon of oil. Sauté turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and garam masala until fragrant. Then, add gram flour to pan to mix well. Add the blended ingredients and water into the pan. Cook over medium heat until gravy thickens.
Once the gravy thickens to the desired consistency, add salt and sugar to taste. Turn off the stove. Mix the fried cabbage balls into the gravy. Garnish with fresh coriander.
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