Palak Kofta (Deep fried spinach-and-cheese balls)
Broadcasting from our community in Florence, Italy, Radio Krishna Centrale reaches more than fifteen million people. The most popular program, Radio Cucino (cooking lessons), is hosted by Krishna Caitanya dasa, who sometimes recites the prayers for his listeners' offerings during the show. Listeners often telephone the station to express their thanks for this recipe.
- 1 pound (450 grams) fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 dried chilies, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon asafetida
- 7 ounce (200 grams) paneer, drained and chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 3/4 cups (275 grams) chickpea flour
- Ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying
- Wash the spinach thoroughly, remove the larger stalks, then wilt the leaves by plunging them into boiling water for a few minutes. Let them drain well, and then press out any remaining water. Chop the leaves into small pieces on a cutting board.
- Use a medium-sized saucepan to heat the ghee or vegetable oil and fry the ginger and the chilies, followed by the ground spices. Add the chopped paneer and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the spinach. Toss in the salt and mix the ingredients well with a spoon. Transfer the mixture onto a smooth working surface, add the chickpea flour as a binder, and knead well.
- Now roll the mixture into 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) balls and deep fry them in ghee or vegetable oil until lightly browned. Then drain. Palak koftas are tasty served with a tomato sauce or eaten as is.
You can find this recipe and more in The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.