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Vegan malai kofta

dinner | August 6, 2015 | By



This is one of those dishes that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s basically a gluten free dumpling of potato, carrot and broad beans or peas, bound with chickpea flour served with a creamy spiced sauce. I know, your attention is wavering already, right?

The chick pea flour adds protein to the dish and makes the dumplings almost into a kind of gnocchi. They are baked instead of the more usual frying, and the accompanying sauce is made with coconut milk rather than the traditional cream. So an egg free, dairy free, vegan curried potato and vegetable gnocchi. I can hear you all saying ‘yum’. Especially about the vegan part (disclaimer: this is in no way intended to be a slight on the vegans of the world. Far from it, a few more meatless meals would be a wonderful thing for our planet. And our purses.).

Suspend disbelief my friends – this is the most economical and delicious dish and reheats really well. I was tempted to eat it for breakfast this morning. Except I ate the leftover fig clafoutis instead. And if you’d been following on instagram (@biencuitgf), you would know all about that. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

I based this recipe on this one by Renee Press at I changed the veggies a bit, using up some shelled frozen broad beans that already have the greyish husks removed. I think it would work well with cauliflower too. A pretty good way to use up any veggies that have been languishing too long in the fridge!

Vegan malai kofta
  1. 4tbsp raw cashew nuts
for the dumplings
  1. 3 medium floury (not waxy) potatoes
  2. 1 large carrot
  3. 125g frozen broad beans or peas
  4. 1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  5. 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  6. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  7. 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  8. 4 tbsp chick pea flour
for the sauce
  1. 2 tbsp oil
  2. 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  5. 1 tsp whole cumin seed
  6. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  7. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  8. 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  9. 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  10. 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  11. 250 ml coconut milk
  12. 250ml water
  13. 1/2 tsp garam masala
  14. handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  1. Start by toasting the cashews in a dry frying pan over a medium flame for 5 mins or so, stirring occasionally, until golden. Turn onto a plate and leave to cool. Once cool, chop finely with a knife (or use the food processor, but make sure you don't go too far and end up with cashew butter!)
  2. Prepare the dumplings by peeling the potato and carrot and cutting both into chunks. Boil in water until just soft to the point of a knife, about 20 mins.
  3. Add the frozen beans or peas and cook for another 2 mins then drain.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 C/180 C fan.
  5. Mash with a fork or a potato masher and stir in half the chopped toasted cashews, salt, turmeric, black pepper, cumin and chick pea flour. This should form a soft dough.
  6. Take a small handful of dough (bearing in mind the whole recipe should make 10-12) and roll into a ball, then a cylinder. Finally flatten each cylinder slightly and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough. Coat lightly with olive oil using a mister, or use a pastry brush and a light hand.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 mins then turn the dumplings over and bake another 10 mins until lightly golden.
  9. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Heat the oil until hot, then add the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes, cumin and onion and cook, stirring, for about 5-10 mins until onion is translucent and starting to brown just at the edges.
  10. Add the turmeric, ground coriander and salt and cook for a minute, stirring.
  11. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Add the coconut milk, water and half the reserved chopped toasted cashews. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, without a lid, until you end up with a nice thick gravy.
  13. When the dumplings are ready place them into the frying pan of gravy and turn them over to coat with sauce. Serve immediately with rice, or steamed vegetables.
  1. If you know you are going to have leftovers, then keep some of the dumplings and sauce back and store them separately. Otherwise the dumplings will soak up all the sauce in the fridge.
  2. Use within 2 days.
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