Cottage Cheese & Spinach kofta in a makhni gravy is a vegetarian dish which will always leave your guest and family wowed. This is a great tasting recipe and I make this whenever we host any vegetarian friends at our home. This is a visual delight and taste heavenly. The grated and flavored cheese is stuffed inside a spinach crust and deep fried and served on the bed of a tangy and tasty makhani sauce
This has another variation where the stuffing inside the spinach can be done with potato also
PS – This is inspired from the signature dish of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor but I have made changes to adapt to the style and flavors we prefer and like.
Preparation Time – 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time -20-30 minutes
Level of Cooking – medium
Cuisine – Indian vegetarian
Serves – 5-6 people
For Paneer & Spinach Kofta (Cottage Cheese & Spinach Balls)
- Cottage Cheese – Grated 200 Grams
- Salt to taste
- Green cardamom powders – ¼ tsp
- Red chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
- Black pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
- Spinach – 400 grams
- Oil – 1Tbsp.
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Garlic finely chopped – 6-7 cloves
- Green chili finely chopped – 6-7
- Gram flour (Besan) – 3 to 4 Tbsp.
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 Tsp
- Corn flour/corn starch – 1/4 cup
- Oil – for deep frying
For Makhni Gravy –
- Tomato – roughly chopped 500 Grams
- Butter – 1 stick or ½ cup
- Garlic – chopped 7 to 8 cloves
- Ginger – 1 ½ inch piece, roughly chopped
- Green chili – 3-4
- Green cardamom – 6 to 7
- Mace 1/2 blade
- Cinnamon – small stick
- Star anise – 2
- Red chili powder (Kashmiri Red Chili) – 2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Kasoori Methi – 2 Tbsp
- Honey – 1 Tbsp.
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 Tbsp.
- Black Pepper – ½ Tsp (Finely crushed)
- Fresh cream – ½ cup
Paneer & Spinach Kofta (Cottage Cheese & Spinach Balls)
- Clean and wash spinach and keep a side .
- In a deep pan, bring about 7 to 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the spinach leaves to the boiling water and after 2 minutes remove or drain. Immediately wash and refresh the spinach leaves with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Tightly squeeze out as much water as you can by pressing the spinach leaves with your hands. Chop the cooked spinach. It is important that the spinach is very finely chopped otherwise it will not be able to cover the cheese balls while making kofta.
- Grate the paneer. Add cardamom powder, Red chili ,Black pepper powder and salt to the paneer. Mash the mixture well until it comes together. Roll the mixture into small balls
- Heat one tablespoons oil in a nonstick shallow pan, add the cumin seeds, garlic and green chilies and cook. Add the gram flour and continue to cook for one to two minutes. Add the turmeric powder and stir, add the spinach and salt cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture is dry and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool
- Take some spinach portion, flatten it on your palm to form a thin layer, place a paneer ball in the center. Gather the edges and shape into a ball. Press firmly so that there aren’t any air pockets between the cheese balls and layer of spinach
- Roll the balls or dust with cornstarch or corn flour. Kofta are ready to be fried
- Heat sufficient oil in a kadai. Gently slide in the stuffed spinach balls, three or four at a time, and deep fry on Medium heat for two to three minutes or till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
- For healthier option – you can use the appe pan to cook the kofta with very less oil
- Warm the butter in a thick base nonstick pan. When hot add chopped tomatoes, ginger, garlic, Green chili , cardamoms, cinnamon, Star anise and mace and sauté for 2-3 minute.
- Add 1 cup of water, red chili powder, salt as per taste and let the tomatoes boil for 8-10 minutes until cooked or tender.
- Once cooked turn off the heat and let it cool. Blend the gravy to a fine puree, strain in to another pan
- Cook the strained puree and cook for 3-4 minutes and adjust consistancy as desired
- After that add Kasoori methi and honey and cook for another 2/3 minutes.
- Add cream, black pepper and Garam masala.
- Makhni Gravy is ready
To Serve – Cut the kofta into half and place it over the scauce