Taste from my childhood – My Mom’s Cabbage Kofta

Cabbage Kofta with Chapattis

This, most definitely, is a landmark post. This is post #100. What better way to celebrate it than to post one of my mom’s recipes.

My parents are visiting me from India right now. My mom is an excellent cook and my first cooking teacher. While growing up, we almost always had home cooked meals and me and my siblings could care less about my mom’s cooking, we wanted to eat out. It’s funny how things change, I can’t get enough of her cooking now. The Cabbage Kofta was a regular item on the dinner menu but one I hadn’t had in years. So when my mom made it the other night, I was reminded of how good it was. Though my mom uses a standard North Indian – Onion-Garlic-Ginger-Tomato gravy, a tomato based gravy like Paneer Makhani gravy (click here) should work too. Instead of Paneer, use Koftas instead.

The Indian culture has a history of absorbing foreign influences and putting an Indian twist on them. Koftas are a case in point. Koftas are a staple of Middle-Eastern cooking. Traditionally, they are spicy meatballs that are deep fried and then served with or without gravy. Kofta dishes in Indian cooking most likely evolved from dishes that would have come with invaders from the Middle East and Afghanistan. They were, over a period of time, adapted for the Indian palate by incorporating them with rich gravies. And given the prevalence of vegetarianism in India, there are any number of vegetarian Kofta dishes even though the origins are definitely meat based.

Anyway, enough commentary, here’s the recipe, enjoy.

INGREDIENTS (for 6 adults)

For the Koftas

Half a finely shredded cabbage

4 Tbsp Gram Flour (Besan) *

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

Oil for deep frying

For the Gravy

1 Medium Onion

1 Medium Tomato

1 inch piece ginger

5-6 cloves of Garlic

1 Tbsp Cooking Oil

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1/2 tsp Red Chili powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp Garam Masala


1. Make Koftas first. Heat oil in a wok or kadhai or a deep saucepan.

2. Add the gramflour, Garam Masala and salt to the shredded cabbage. Shape the mixture into two inch long croquettes and squeeze hard till the water leaves the mixture. Deep fry them till they are dark brown (see picture below).

*Start with 2 Tbsp of Gram Flour, keep adding more till you can form firm croquettes with the shredded cabbage.

Cabbage Koftas being degreased

3. Set them on a paper towel to drain and soak the oil.

4. Next, make the gravy. Blend the onion, tomato, ginger and garlic in a blender.

5. Heat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a saucepan. Add the blended mixture from 4.

6. Add the turmeric, chili powder and coriander powder and cook till the mixture starts to brown.

7. Add some water to make a thick gravy.

8. Add salt to taste and the Garam Masala.

9. Add the premade Koftas, bring to a boil and serve with a bread of your choice or boiled rice.

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