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Pea and Quorn kofta curry

by Deena Kakaya
Pea and Quorn kofta curry

Pea and Quorn kofta curry

PT1H30M

Why not try?

When it comes to lunch or dinner, applying a menu favourably to the fussy audience that is my family is complicated. Each of them declares ‘I’m easy, whatever…’ but this is not factually correct. The children of course require a balanced, nutritious and mild diet and my parents like a more traditional menu these days, or something with an x-rating on the chilli factor. But my dad is sick of chapatti every day, so the mere indication of them will spin him off into, ‘that’s fine I will have Weetabix or toast for dinner’. What my diabetic dad really wants is something that resembles (or actually is) an obscenely dirty take-away; you know mounds of Chinese food, maybe some massaman curry or some deep-fried aubergine Bhajhia.

But of course my husband likes the idea of all that but strokes his jumper down for the 97th time as he says, ‘no I have got to be healthier, I have lost 2kg and need to…’ right. My brother is fixated with the protein that apparently fuels his work-outs and keeps him satiated for longer (and various other reasons I switch off about) and if it's cabbage curry for dinner with vegetable rice and raitha, he is silently out and munching on chicken because we (which of course means ‘I’) have a no-meat rule in the house.

Cue my protein packed recipe. Every time we eat Quorn mince there are remarks from the non-vegetarian people around the table about how convincing it is. I have noticed over the years that it has actually become softer and juicier, less crumbly and they now lend so well to succulent, moist, lightly sweet, spice-soaked and juicy kofta. They hold so well and do not require any egg or potato. Peas are themselves a source of protein as well as the Quorn mince, but I chose peas because they keep the kofta moist and add a little sweetness. They look pretty too, don’t they? Let me tell you, we had some very happy (and also very quiet!) people eating these kofta.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Start by making the kofta. Boil the peas for 3–4 minutes before draining the water and allowing them to cool and dry completely
2
In a pan heat 2 tbsp. oil before adding the cumin seeds. Allow them to sizzle, then stir in the onion and salt and sauté until they have softened. Stir in the Quorn mince
3
Sprinkle in the coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and paprika. Stir the mince thoroughly before adding the tomato purée and water. Cook on a low flame until the moisture has been absorbed, then allow it to cool to room temperature
4
Blitz the peas until smooth in a food processor, then transfer them to a large bowl. Combine the peas and the vegetarian mince mixture, then add the rice, oats and breadcrumbs. Mix well to combine until you have a form-able kofta mix
5
Make the kofta into even sized balls; you will get about 24 from this recipe. Place them in the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up
6
To make the curry gravy, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and add the cumin seeds, chillies, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves, allowing the cumin seeds to sizzle
7
Add the onion and salt and sauté until the garlic lightly softens. Mix in the tinned tomatoes
8
Sprinkle in the garam masala and bring the curry gravy to a very gentle simmer. Grind the almonds and milk to a paste, then add to the sauce with the water. Simmer the curry gravy until thickened and the water has reduced slightly – this should take approximately 10 minutes
9
To cook the kofta, heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a non-stick pan and gently fry the kofta until they are golden brown all over
10
When you are ready to serve, don’t immerse them completely in the gravy, simply sit them on top as this will ensure that the kofta maintain their shape
 

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Pea and Quorn kofta curry

 
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