Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baked Spinach Kofta with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

I had been wanting to make this recipe for a few weeks now, and starting this new blog-venture was just the kick in the butt I needed.  It's a pretty time consuming adventure, but I thought the results were yummy and really filling.  (I ate 2 servings (10 balls) for lunch with a big mound of the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce for a total of 5 WW Points.)  As well as being a volume eater, I am also a volume chef.  When I know a recipe is going to take a bit of doing, I double or triple it.  So if you think this might be a winner in your house, I suggest you do the same!

Recipe tweaked from a recipe on

Baked Spinach Kofta
makes 4 servings (5 balls each) for 2 WW Points

2 medium red potatoes, about 12 ounces
6 ounces fresh spinach (I only had frozen on hand so I defrosted it in the microwave and squeezed out the water)
2 ounces firm tofu
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (reduce for low-sodium diets)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)

Peel the potatoes, dice them into 1/2-inch pieces, place them in a saucepan, and cover them with water. Boil until the potatoes are tender and then drain them well and mash. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for one minute, or just until wilted. Drain well in a colander. (Again, I used frozen spinach, defrosted it in the microwave and rang it out.) Put the spinach along with the tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt into a food processor (or high powered blender) and process until crumbly. Set aside.

Spray a large skillet with canola oil and bring it to medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast for one minute. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala, stir, and immediately add the potatoes and the spinach mixture. Cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and spoon into a large bowl.

Add the chickpea flour and stir well. Allow to cool until easy to handle. Shape into about 20 balls, approximately 1.5-inches in diameter. (Don't worry about getting them perfect; they will naturally flatten out some during baking.) Place on an oiled cookie sheet or a silicone baking mat.

Preheat oven to 450F. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the kofta. Bake for 10 more minutes and turn again. Bake for 10 more minutes or until all sides are lightly browned.
Serve with Cucumber-Soy Yogurt sauce (below), garnished with tomatoes, red onion, and hot chile peppers. This makes a delicious stuffing for whole wheat pita bread or chapatis.

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
1 small or 1/2 large cucumber
1 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
1/4 cup diced red onion
1-2 tablespoons minced mint leaves (optional)
1-3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Peel and finely dice the cucumber. Place the pieces in a colander and allow the liquid to drain while you mix the other ingredients in a bowl.

Before adding the cucumber, blot it lightly with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add it to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. You can refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to allow the flavors to blend, but I was so hungry after making this recipe that I ate it right away!


Ted Kinnaman said...

Hmmm.... thought I posted a comment here but now it doesn't appear. Here's the gist of it;

I'd like to make this, but I don't need to lose weight and do need to maximize protein intake. Can you suggest some more 'tweaking' to accomplish this? Thanks!

Wendy and Sophia said...

There are 6 grams of protein per serving (5 balls) of koftas, and the yogurt sauce adds even more protein. I can eat 2 servings at one sitting, so that's at least 12 grams of protein. If you would like even more protein, you could absolutely add very finely diced, cooked or grilled chicken to the mix, right before you roll out the balls. That would add some nice texture to the dish and a lot more lean protein.

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