I've had a pretty hectic 2 weeks and that's why was missing in action here. Apologies for that. There was just so much going on. And so many sweets to be eaten. Someone had to do it. But these past few days I had a little time to reflect on how much my blog has become a part of my life. How many good friends I've made here and how much happiness and joy this is bringing me all the time. And also how I've impressed an old friend who knew me just as a tom boy in school and she wrote me a whole 2 page letter on my new avatar. Thank you Lavs - I'll be dreaming about your letter for maybe just another 6 months! And then please send me one more.
This recipe today was inspired by Dori's Aloo Biryani - the moment I saw that, this stuff I made below was born in my head. And Dori - those vanilla jamuns...aah...I did die! I cooked this up at my sister's place while I was there on vacation. We made this for a potluck party at a good friend's place - and this friend of my sister has become my official Mriganayani spokesperson for Sacramento area! LOL! Thank you Kavitha for all your encouragement and support!
You could use your favorite veggies or even use paneer or tofu for the koftas. I used potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas here. Grate all veggies using a food processor or a grater. You don't have to precook anything except the green peas. I always like to cook the green peas for just about 3-4 mins in the microwave before using. That heat takes out the raw smell of the peas and also brings out the sweetness in them. Just wash the other veggies well and grate them. Add the grated vegetables and the peas to a big mixing bowl.
Add salt to taste and add any masala if you want. I added a bit of garam masala and some pav bhaji masala to this. A few mins after you add the salt, you'll see water leaving the vegetables. Using a muslin cloth, squeeze out as much water as you can get. Save the water - you can use it instead of water for any other dish you're cooking. Or even refrigerate it for up to a day.
To the squeezed veggies, add about 4-5 slices of bread, toasted and chopped to crumbs. We used whole wheat bread roll crumbs. Add the crumbs and mix well with the veggies.
Make into small sized balls and set aside.
In a small bowl, take 1/4 cup of besan (chick pea flour) and 1/4 cup of rice flour. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Add about 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder and mix well. Add water to this and make a thin paste - the paste should be thin like fruit juice so that when you dip the kofta balls in here, just a very thin layer of paste sticks to the outside. You don't want the balls to become bulky and heavy to eat.
Dip the balls in this to form a thin coat and then deep fry in hot oil till the koftas turn golden brown.
While that is happening, cook 2 cups of basmati rice with 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups water. Add a pinch of saffron to this while cooking.
In a pan, add about 2 tsp of oil. When hot, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds. And then add onions sliced lengthwise. Add 1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder. Then, mix the cooked rice with this and add salt to taste for the rice. The turmeric added to the onions give the beautiful yellow color to the rice too.
If you are going to serve immediately, you can mix the koftas and the rice together. Or else, just arrange the koftas on top of the rice until you are ready to serve. It does look pretty and also helps to keep the koftas crisp until serving.
Don't they look pretty?
Sometimes I'm just a ball. Sigh.
The rice is all plain and the koftas have all the veggies. Half of this and half of that in a spoon - perfect bite! Serve hot with a side of raitha or a spicy kurma.
Wish you all a very Happy New Year and don't forget to have a ball this year!
Enjoy. Peace Out!