I met Anu (Anupama) Rao at a party - her bindaas nature and her totally infectious smile and her jokes were what made us bond as friends that evening. Little did I know that this is the same Anu who writes the beautiful blog Allergy Foodie. I was thrilled and it felt like I had met a celebrity - I guess, I mentioned it to her when we connected on facebook. Needless to say - shes become a friend.She planned to have a allergy friendly cookout along with 4 food bloggers from around in the warmth of her kitchen in the evening today (19 April). Sadly, I am not going to be a part of it, due to health reasons. But, I wanted to make a contribution.
Anu had given each of us a list of what we need to avoid. Here is the list that was provided to us.
- Wheat (including oats, spelt, barley)
- Tree nuts (Almond, cashew, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts etc.)
- Dairy (Milk, Yogurt, Cheese)
- Shell Fish
- Poppy seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Chick Peas (Chana daal, besan etc.)
Well, my thinking cap came out of the closet and I started to think of the ingredients I could use to make something tasty and allergy friendly. After a lot of this and that and again a this and that - I finally came up with the idea of a kofta curry that could be made with whole moong (green gram) and whole udad (black gram) in a rich coconut milk based curry that is infused with fresh ground spices and fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves. I hope this meets the criteria - will wait for a verdict from Anu.
2 medium potatoes - boiled and mashed
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups chopped fresh fenugreek leaves (methi)
1 and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons kashmiri chili powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or grated jaggery
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
salt to taste
oil for deep frying the koftas
Soaked in enough water for 12 hours
1/2 cup whole moong (green gram)
1/2 cup whole udad (black gram)
For fresh ground spice mixture
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds (akha dhania)
2 green cardamoms (elaichi)
5 cloves (lavang)
1/2 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
5 kabab chini/nagkesar (cobra saffron)
Dry roast all the spices mentioned in the 'to grind' section and then grind them to a coarse powder, make two parts of it and keep them aside.
Coarsely grind the soaked moong and udad and add in the mashed potatoes and half cup of chopped onions. Then add one portion of the ground spice, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, asafoetida and 1/2 teaspoon salt (you can add more or less as per preference or taste). Mix everything well. Heat oil in a karahi for deep frying. When it gets hot - put the flame on a medium and make balls of the dal mixture and fry them till they are nice and crispy on the outside - it should take about 5 to 7 minutes for 6 balls at a time. Drain them on a paper towel and let them sit aside to cool.
In a saucepan, add the coconut oil. When it gets hot, add the remaining chopped onions and fry till they turn a nice golden color. Add the ginger paste and the garlic paste and saute for about a minute till the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves and mix well till all the leaves are wilted and give a nice fenugreeky (if such a name exists) smell. Add the 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, chilli powder, the other portion of the spice mixture, salt to taste and mix well. Get the saucepan off the heat and add the coconut milk and stir very well. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Get the saucepan back on the flame and cover it and let the mixture come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and bring it to a simmer - add the kofta balls to the sauce. Cover and let the sauce and koftas mix and mingle on the simmer for about 10 minutes. Kofta curry is ready.
You can have it with Rice, Rotis (allergy friendly ones) OR as we did it - we served the kofta on a bed of boiled rice noodles ........ my husband called it a very fancy way of eating your 'Dal & Chawal'