Totally scrumptious and easy to make, this Vegan Kofta Curry features melt-in-your-mouth aubergine “meatballs” served in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce.
Hey guys! How are you all? Apologies for the radio silence but the last couple of weeks have been crazy – can you believe that we have our wedding anniversary and all our birthdays in the space of a month? Yep! So we took a much needed break from routine and headed to Center Parcs in Cumbria to celebrate. We had a blast but unfortunately it’s taken me until now to get back into the swing of things with the blog. The good news is that I have a lot planned for the coming months so keep following and thank you for your continued support.
Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about food.
Have you ever had a kofta curry? If you haven’t…well, it’s a curry traditionally made with meatballs. Despite my love for all things curry, I don’t ever remember trying it before becoming vegetarian and I’ve never spotted a vegetarian version in my favourite local curry houses.
So, when I was brainstorming some new recipe ideas just the other day, I thought I’d have a play and see if I could turn this classic curry vegan. And oh man, hand on heart – the result was totally scrumptious.
The “meatballs” (or koftas) are made with pureed aubergine mixed with onion, garlic, lemon zest (the key ingredient in my opinion!), parsley and breadcrumbs (which is what holds everything together without the need for egg). Once cooked in the oven, they are served in a really tasty curry sauce which uses a little coconut cream to make it super smooth.
It sounds like a lot of faffing about but the recipe is actually very easy and straightforward, especially if you get the chance to prepare the meatballs in advance.
don’t want to go off on a tangent here but does anyone else think aubergines don’t get the praise they deserve? I am a huge fan, it’s one of the staple vegetables I grew up with in Italy. Not only do they taste amazing just grilled with a little oil, garlic and parsley (here’s a simple idea for your next BBQ!) but they’re so versatile and taste so so good in anything from bakes and pasta dishes to curries and dips. And of course, they make a really great base for the meatballs in today’s Vegan Kofta Curry.
Notes to self: Eat more aubergines. Blog about aubergines more.
HOW TO MAKE MY VEGAN KOFTA CURRY
To make the vegan “meatballs”, you start off by cooking the aubergines chunks in a little olive oil until soft. They tend to soak up all the olive oil right away so add a splash of water if necessary.
Remove them from the heat and cook the onion and garlic in the same pan until starting to colour.
Tip the aubergine chunks, onion and garlic into a food processor together with the lemon zest, parsley, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Whizz it up until you get a thick paste, then use your hands to shape into 8 balls.
At this point you can use the aubergine koftas right away, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days (this is so convenient as it makes cooking the curry so quick) or freeze for up to 3 months.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C degrees and once it’s reached this temperature, bake the vegan “meatballs” for about 25 minutes on a lightly greased baking tray. If cooking from chilled or frozen, add an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven.
While they’re in the oven, prepare the curry sauce.
Fry the onion in olive oil until soft and translucent, then tip in the chopped chillies, garlic and ginger. Cook for about a minute until fragrant.
Add the cumin, turmeric and coriander, stir to coat the onions, then add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 15 minutes.
Finally, add the coconut cream and cook for a further 5 minutes.
To assemble your Vegan Kofta Curry, add the cooked “meatballs” to the sauce and stir gently to coat. Check for seasoning, remove the bay leaves and serve right away with fluffy basmati rice or naan breads.
So what do you think? If this something you would like to try? As usual, remember that I love hearing from you guys and if you have any recipe requests or need some ideas on how to cook with a particular ingredient, please do let me know and I’ll be happy to help you out.
Vegan kofta curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the aubergine chunks for about 5 minutes until soft, adding a splash of water if necessary. Tip the cooked aubergine into a food processor.
Using the same pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Tip them into the food processor and add the lemon zest, fresh parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Blitz until you get a thick paste, then use your hands to roll the mixture into 8 balls.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C degrees and cook the vegan “meatballs” for 25 minutes on a lightly greased baking tray.
While the “meatballs” are cooking, prepare the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion until soft and translucent.
Add the chopped green chillies, garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
Add the cumin, turmeric and coriander, stir well, then tip in the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and bay leaves. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Add the coconut cream and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Tip in the cooked “meatballs” to the sauce and take off the heat. Check for seasoning, remove the bay leaves and serve hot with basmati rice or naan breads.
- Suitable for vegans.
- The “vegan” meatballs can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively, they can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If cooking from chilled or frozen, bake for 30 to 35 minutes and check they’re piping hot before adding to the curry sauce.