Thursday, October 8, 2009
Guess, most of us must have heard of Nargisi Kofta, surely the non-vegetarians. In its original form, kofta is made from meat/chicken and eggs. Being an eggetarian, this was not a dish for me.
Enters ma (my mom-in-law) who modified it so that I also join the family to relish the dish. By the way, we both address each other without the in-law part, so will be addressing her as ma. She is a fantastic cook and has exquisite culinary skills!!
As ma was meticulously preparing the dish, I noted down the recipe and took photos of the intermediary steps, which are shown below along with the recipe. The way the koftas came out just intrigued me to read more about the origin of the dish.
Nargisi means Narcissus-like eyes(Nargisi Aankein). It is a dish from Awadhi cuisine(from the city of Lucknow). The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad; and the city is famous for its Nawabi foods. If you see the koftas below, guess the name justifies itself!
This also lead me to read about Narcissus, Greek hero who was known for his unmatched beauty. Those interested in reading about how the name of the flower Narcissus came into existence, may visit this link and read the short story at http://www.echo.me.uk/legend.htm. There are many versions though, this being one.
Having understood its origin, let us go to the recipe. It tastes best when served with matar pulav, or jeera rice, or phulkas/tandoori rotis.
a) Boiled Eggs
b) Boiled potatoes (probably one can try with other boiled vegetables too)
c) Onions - (i) finely chopped (ii) in paste form
d) Finely chopped coriandar and mint leaves
e) Corn flour
f) Red chilli powder
g) Ginger-garlic paste
h) Green chillies
i) Tomatoes in paste form
j) Ground masala - elaichi + jaiphal + dalchini
Covering for the eggs:
a) Mash the boiled potatoes.
b) Add finely chopped coriander, mint leaves and onions.
c) Add red chilli powder, ground masala(see j above), corn flour, ginger-garlic paste and salt.
d) Mix all the ingredients well into a dough.
We had utilised the red chilli flakes from the previous night's order of pizza!!:D It did give a good look to the koftas, which you can see in the photo below!
a) Peel the boiled eggs and with a knife make slits on the eggs.
b) Make small cups out of the dough prepared above and place the an egg in the cup and cover it completely with the dough.
Remember: Covering on the egg must be thick to avoid breakages while frying.
c) Then roll the kofta ball in corn flour.
d) Deep fry the balls, preferably one or two at a time depending upon the size of the frying pan you use.
e) After frying the koftas, cut them into half. Be careful while making the cut to avoid breakage of the covering. Best way is to use a sharp knife and make a cut in a single stroke rather than starting from one end reaching to the other.
a) Heat oil in a pan and add the ground powder(from j) and green chillies
b) After 30 seconds, add onion paste
c) Once the onion starts leaving water, add ginger-garlic paste and tomato paste or tomato puree.
d) Then add turmeric powder, garam masala, mint and coriander leaves, water, and if any of the potato dough (prepared above) is left.
e) Cook it on slow fire till the gravy is well prepared.
f) Now place the koftas in a wide-mouthed container and pour the gravy on the koftas from the top.
g) Serve hot with rice or roti.
After all the efforts, the taste was awesome! A little cumbersome preparation, but the end results are excellent.
All those kids/husbands who want to savor this dish, may prefer giving a helping hand to their mothers/wives in the kitchen for even her to relish the dish after a long ordeal in the kitchen! :) She deserves it! (Its not a feministic remark, just encouraging load-sharing!)