How tasty are the Hare Krishna vegetarian kofta balls and that rich tomato sauce? If there’s koftas around, I cannot refuse their crunchy allure and swiftly purchase at least 6. I decided to have a crack at making some healthy homemade vegetarian koftas filled with fresh vegetables. What I really wanted to nail was the sauce, that fresh, sweet yet sharp tomato sugo type sauce that the koftas are often slathered in.
Wait, what’s a kofta again?
Koftas are a savoury ball made with minced meat, paneer, or vegetables. Often deep or shallow fried, koftas have a delicious crunchy outer and soft, fluffy, warm spiced middle. Vegetarian kofta balls are often served with a spiced tomato curry sauce or napoli-style tomato sauce. Deelish.
This vegetarian kofta recipe is packed full of fresh grated veggies, not minced so you can still see and taste all the fresh flavours once the kofta ball has been deep fried/oven baked.
Veggie koftas are also a great way to get a big intake of fresh veggies in a comforting way (aka warm, crunchy, potentially deep fried and a tasty tomato sauce for dipping). I’d almost go as far as to say you could try and trick little kiddies into thinking these were veggie nuggets with tomato sauce, a ha!
How to make vegetarian kofta balls:
The recipe is fairly simple, calling for fresh shredded veggies that have spent 10 minutes resting in salt to remove some excess water. I used sliced rainbow chard with grated zucchini, carrot and beetroot. The mix was spiced with some garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander and salt and pepper. They were bound with some chickpea flour and 1 egg so they held together when baked. Once your mix is sufficiently mixed, batter up and create your beautiful tray of balls to pop in the oven or shallow/deep fry to crisp up.
Use an ice cream scoop when making your kofta balls so they are all the same size and to make for easy rolling and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cover with a light spray of olive oil to give a nice crunch and flip half way to crisp up both sides and you will end up with tasty, crunchy koftas filled with fresh veggies.
Oven baked vegetarian kofta balls
- 2 beetroots steamed and grated
- 2 carrots peeled and grated
- 1 medium zucchini grated
- 6 large leaves of rainbow chard or silver beet thinly chopped and de-stalked
- 1 cup chickpea/basan flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Spray olive oil
For the sauce
- 1 tin diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Prepare veggies - have your beetroot, carrot and zucchini grated. Place in a large mixing bowl and cover with 1 tablespoon salt, mix to combine. Set aside and leave for 10 minutes. This will draw out the water, after 10 minutes squeeze grated veggie mix to remove excess water.
- Have your leaves of silverbeet finely chopped and de-stalked and add to the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
- In your large mixing bowl ensure all vegetables are mixed and add the basan/chickpea flour, egg, milk, ground cumin, ground coriander, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Thoroughly stir to combine and form a batter.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 deg cel and prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper and lightly drizzled with oil.
- On the baking tray and using an ice cream scoop ( to keep the same size) or a tablespoon, start shaping your koftas. Ensure to compress them with your hands once shaped to get a dense, sticky kofta.
- Lightly spray with a cooling oil and place in the oven to cook. Cook for 40 minutes in the oven, removing and spraying with oil after 20 minutes and turning over if you wish. Remove when golden brown and cripsy.
For the sauce
- In a small sauce pan empty the tin of diced tomatoes, add tomato paste, sugar and garlic salt and simmer for the 30 minutes the koftas are in the oven.
You can use regular flour if required.
Also delicious with a yoghurt sauce.