Pea and Quorn kofta curry

Deena Kakaya uses peas and Quorn mince to create protein-packed, meat-free koftas. Served with a richly spiced curry sauce, this recipe makes a surprisingly healthy comfort food dish.

First published in 2015

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.




Pea and Quorn kofta

Curry gravy


Start by making the kofta. Boil the peas for 3–4 minutes before draining the water and allowing them to cool and dry completely
In a pan heat 2 tbsp. oil before adding the cumin seeds. Allow them to sizzle, then stir in the onion, garlic and salt and sauté until they have softened. Stir in the Quorn mince
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
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
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
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
Add the onion and salt and sauté until the garlic lightly softens. Mix in the tinned tomatoes
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
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
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
First published in 2015

Deena is a food writer with work published in UK magazines such as BBC Good Food, Delicious, Cook Veg and Fork.

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