Coconut kofta pulav

I had never even heard of this dish till one of my sisters sent me a copy of this recipe from my mother’s recipe book. The book was very old and in tatters and the photocopy I got was not very legible but I managed to decipher the recipe. The koftas are made with coconut and the pulav is also made with coconut milk. So it is a coconut heavy dish. The finished item is really tasty and very flavoursome.

For the kofta
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Onion – 1 (choppped)
Green chilli – 1 (chopped)
Ginger – 1/2 tsp (grated)
Mint leaves – 15 (chopped)
Green coriander – 2 sprigs (chopped)
Besan (chick pea flour) – 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – to taste
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Chat masala – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil for frying

For the pulav
Basmati rice – 1.5 cups
Coconut milk – 2.5 cups
Onion – 1 (thinly sliced)
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black cardamom – 1
Mace – 1
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Cloves – 6
Bay leaves – 1
Salt- to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

Wash the rice and set aside. Extract the milk from one coconut and set aside. In a large pot add the oil and fry the onions till they are caramelised. Take the onions out set aside. In the same oil add the cumin seeds and all the pulav spices till they splutter. Add the washed basmati rice and fry till rice changes colour. Add the coconut milk and salt and cook covered on stove at low heat.

In another container add the kofta ingredients and mix well. The moisture from the coconut should be enough to make a pliable dough but feel free to add some water to make it easy to work with. Heat the oil in a kadai and make small balls (1” diameter) and deep fry them and set aside.

. Once the pulav is almost done add the fried koftas to the pulav and keep covered for 5 mins. Remove all the pulav spices and garnish with the caramelised onions. Since this is quite a rich pulav because of the coconut milk, I served it hot with a dal and a cucumber raita for freshness.  Serves 3.

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