Friday, February 14
Malai Kofta and Curried Chard
We don’t usually go out to dinner for on Valentine’s Day. Most restaurants have such a limited menu that it’s hard to get a good vegan option, and even harder to get one worth the inflated Valentines Day price. Still, I wanted to have a special dinner. I needed to pick up some more Sukhi’s brand samosas and lo and behold I found some more treats that we started out with for appetizers. I picked up a box each of the Spinach Pakoras (think fried veggie fritters) and the Aloo Tikki (potato patties filled with spiced peas). They were both delicious, but the pakoras were a tiny bit spicier than I expected. All of these are kind of on the expensive side, so they won’t be a regular part of Indian dinners. Well, maybe the samosas. We really can’t skip those. For our main dish, I went to one of our new favorite recipes is the Chandra Malai Kofta from Isa Does It. It’s kind of involved, so you want to be sure you have plenty of time, but it’s worth it. If you’re not familiar with this dish, it’s basically vegan meatballs (koftas) smothered in a rich creamy sauce. I made just a half batch of the sauce this time because the full recipe makes a lot, and as good as it is, I wasn’t able to use it all the last time. The base is cashews and coconut milk and it tastes exactly like the sauce I remember from Indian restaurants in my pre-vegan days. The koftas are made from mostly chickpeas, zucchini and breadcrumbs with toasted slivered almonds. The mixture for these needs to set up in the fridge for at least half an hour before you form the koftas and cook them, so keep that in mind when timing your meal.
You can add extra veggies to the dish, but we decided to have a separate side. I love chard, and one of my favorite recipes for it is the Quick Curried Chard from Color Me Vegan and it’s one of the easiest I’ve ever tried. Curry paste and non-dairy milk give it an amazing flavor in no time flat. We had some naan that I made using the recipe in Vegan Eats World already and in the freezer, so all we had to do was reheat it and it was perfect. If you've not heard me wax poetic about this nann before, here goes: buy a copy of Vegan Eats World, make the naan. That one recipe alone is worth the purchase price of the book. Not kidding. This was a heavy dinner, so if you decide to try it out, bring your appetites!