Red and Green Festive Koftas

Every Christmas and Easter, my sister and I, used to plan elaborate meal weeks ahead. And then go shopping with our long grocery list. Really got us into the festive spirit. That’s something I still look forward to now in my home. But this year, with the lockdown near easter, and most stores empty, inspiration struck. I took the simple bunch of red amaranth leaves and homemade paneer and dressed it up, to make a rich and vibrant kofta gravy (the colours are also perfect for Christmas).


  • Serves 2-3
  • 1/2 Cup Paneer Crumbled
  • 1 Tsp Corn flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt to Taste
  • Red Amaranth/Lal Math Leaves 2 Cups Approx.
  • 1/4 Cup Besan
  • 2-3 Spoons Water for Pureeing
  • Oil for Deep Frying
  • Ingredients for Gravy
  • Medium Onion Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • To Be Ground into A Thick Paste –
  • 2 Cups Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Mint Leaves
  • 2 Chopped Green Chilies
  • 1-Inch Chopped Ginger
  • 2-3 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Curd
  • 8-10 Cashews
  • Squeeze of Lime Juice
  • Pinch of Salt


Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes

  1. For the koftas – Wash the amaranth leaves well. Chop coarsely, add a pinch of salt, cumin, chopped ginger and grind to puree with minimal water. Roast besan for few minutes over low flame till jus aromatic.
  2. Add puree to this and stir till just combined and dried out. Be careful to do this for just a few seconds. Don’t allow leaves to cook and turn dark. Take off the heat and cool.
  3. Take the crumbled paneer in a bowl with a pinch of salt, corn flour and garam masala. Shape into firm lime sized balls.
  4. Similarly, divide the cooled amaranth mixture into slightly larger balls. Take one amaranth ball, flatten on your palm, place a paneer ball in the centre and cover it with the leaf mix.
  5. Shape smoothly. Chill for 30-60 mins before frying. Coat in rice flour lightly and fry in medium hot oil, turning very gently. Preferably deep fry them just before serving.
  6. For the gravy – Make a smooth paste of the ingredients mentioned under green paste. Heat a little oil in a Kadai. Add cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and fry till translucent.
  7. Add in the green ground paste and cook for few mins till the raw smell and taste goes. Add about ½ cup water and cook depending on the consistency you want.
  8. Switch off the flame and add the cream and give it a gentle swirl.
  9. Serving – Fry the koftas and drain the oil.  Cut them in half when slightly cool. Place them, cut side up, in the warmed gravy. Enjoy with jeera rice, Indian breads.