Spinach koftas in yoghurt sauce

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Gujarati dishes such as this are unique in india in that they are nearly always vegetarian. Curries are typically mild — though southern gujarati cuisine has a penchant for green chillies — and rely on fresh vegetables, yoghurt, and accompanying pickles and chutneys for extra spice.

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow


Yoghurt sauce

  • 375g plain yoghurt
  • 35g (1/3 cup) besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 large, finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves, crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder


  • 450g (1 bunch), English spinach leaves picked off the stems
  • 170g (1/2 cup besan flour
  • 1, finely chopped red onion
  • 1 ripe, finely diced tomato
  • 2 cloves, crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped leaves coriander
  • for deep-frying oil
  • leaves, to serve coriander


1. To make the yoghurt sauce whisk the yoghurt, besan and 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) water in a bowl, to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan over low heat.

2. Add the mustard and fenugreek seeds and the curry leaves, cover and allow the seeds to pop for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and starting to brown.

3. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, or until soft. Add the turmeric and chilli powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add the yoghurt mixture, bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

4. To make the spinach koftas, blanch the spinach in boiling water for 1 minute and refresh in cold water. Drain, squeeze out any extra water by putting the spinach in a colander and pressing it against the sides with a spoon. Finely chop the spinach. Combine with the remaining kofta ingredients and up to 3 tablespoons water, a little at a time, adding enough to make the mixture soft but not sloppy. If it becomes too sloppy, add more besan. Shape the mixture into balls by rolling it in dampened hands, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each. This should make 12 koftas.

5. Fill a heavy-based saucepan one-third full with oil and heat to 180° C, or until a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds. Lower the koftas into the oil in batches and fry until golden and crisp. Don' t overcrowd the pan. Remove the koftas as they cook, shake off any excess oil and add them to the yoghurt sauce. Gently reheat the yoghurt sauce, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

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  • Main Ingredients - Yoghurt, Spinach/Silverbeet/Kale
  • Cuisine - Indian
  • Course - Main-course, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
  • Occasion - Midweek dinner, Dinner Party, Family meals


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