The other day at the green grocer’s I saw the fresh stock of radish and without losing a second I made an impulse purchase. Fresh, crisp, white, slender radish seemed like the harbinger of the lovely winter produce that I am so eagerly awaiting. Making radish koftas was the most natural thought that came to my mind since it has been ages that I had them. It was always my Mum who used to make it and ever since her demise, I never tried cooking it on my own.
Actually no one in my marital home is fond of radish and I can’t remember when I last bought them! On the contrary, at my mother’s, we used to eat radish almost daily, sprinkled with some Chaat Masala. I also used to love gorging on a simple cabbage salad that she used to make by thinly slicing the cabbage, adding shredded carrots & diced tomatoes and then a sprinkle of some crushed black pepper corns along with salt and a dash of lemon.
In fact it is not just radish but so many other foods that are not enjoyed in my marital house. I have rarely encountered pumpkin, colocasia/taro, beetroots, turnips, mint, mushrooms, black eyed peas, mung beans, puy lentils to name few. On the other hand I love each and every known variety of lentils, legumes and dried beans available in India. And eat most veggies too. I have tried to make my daughter enjoy the nature’s seasonal bounties and though she eats most of them, her focus is mostly fish and chicken.
There is a saying in Punjabi (“Bhuk’kha jat mooli khaye, mooli bhuk’kh hor vadaye!) which upon rough translation implies that radish is an appetizer. However, in this recipe it is the main dish or rather the star dish, to be mopped with chapatti or rice.
3 C shredded Radish
¾ tsp salt
1 heaped tbsp tender Radish leaves (finely chopped)
1/3 C + 1 tbsp dry roasted Besan (Chick Pea flour)
½ tsp Red Chili powder (adjust as per amount of heat required)
Salt to taste
½ tsp Carrom seeds
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste (optional)
½ tsp Eno fruit salt or baking powder (if using baking powder, you need scant ½ tsp)
2 Red or Rreen chilies (de-seeded & finely chopped)
Oil for deep frying
2½ tbsp Oil
1 Bay leaf
4 – 5 Green Cardamoms
1 large Onion
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
3 tbsp Yogurt (whisked)
5-6 cashew nuts ground to paste
1 tsp Degi Mirch (Kashmiri Paprika which has mild heat and gives a nice reddish color to the curry)
2 tsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala
Salt to taste
Drizzle fresh cream to serve
For the koftas, sprinkle the salt over the radish and keep it aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the radish and transfer it in a mixing bowl. Add the radish leaves, green chilies, besan, red chili powder, carom seeds, ginger garlic paste and Eno fruit salt. Without using any water knead the mixture well. Make balls to the size you desire and keep them on a slightly greased plate.
Heat the oil and on medium heat fry the koftas till they begin to turn brownish in color (be careful not to brown them too much else they will taste burnt). Using a slotted spoon remove the koftas on absorbent paper.
For the curry, chop onions very finely. Heat the oil in a pan and add bay leaf along with green cardamoms. Fry for 10 seconds and tip in the onions. Fry till they begin to turn golden brown in color. Add a few table spoons of water and add the ginger garlic paste. This way the paste does not stick or burn when added to the hot pan. Fry till the ginger garlic paste becomes aromatic; a few minutes. Add the salt, turmeric, coriander powder and degi mirch. Fry for half a minute and then add the yogurt. Fry for a few minutes or until the fat leaves the masala. At this point add the cashewnut paste and fry on low flame for half a minute. Add two cups of water (more if required since the curry thickens as it begins to cool) and bring it to a boil. Reduce the water by a quarter and then add the koftas. Sprinkle with garam masala and simmer for 3-5 minutes (depending upon the size of the koftas) and remove from heat. Serve hot with roti (thin whole wheat flat breads) or rice.
Note: The amount of besan will depend on the amount of water there is in the squeezed radish.
Note: Your kofta curry will look different from the pictures here because for the sake of clicking pictures, I didn’t simmer the koftas in the curry.
Yield: Makes 12 koftas (the size shown in the pic)
You may also like to try these Kofta Curries:
MAKHMALI ALU PANEER KOFTA (Potato & Cheese Croquettes in Poppy Seeds Gravy)
KATHAL KOFTA (Jackfruit Dumplings in Red Gravy)
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