Koftas are associated with a mouth watering delicacy.
Bananas are humble fruits and rather simple in taste.
How about combining the two? What we get are spicy balls floating in a savoury gravy.
I remember my mother making these ‘kele ke kofte’ and my grandfather going ‘bananas’ over them. He used to love them so much that he would share them with his neighbour friend.
There is a small deviation I have made from my mother’s recipe and that is in the gravy. The ingredients used in the gravy are the standard onion, ginger, garlic, etc. This, I believe, does not have any specific taste of its own and has a thin consistency. To tackle these two issues I decided to add a tablespoon of sattu (ground roasted yellow chana/gram) or besan (ground chana dal). The result was pretty satisfying.
The time mentioned here is half an hour for preparation and another 45 minutes for cooking. This will hold good if you cook the kofta and the gravy simultaneously.
Serve with rotis or steaming hot rice to enjoy a filling meal.
Kele ke kofte - spicy balls of raw bananas floating in rich savoury gravy.
For the kofta
Green Banana - 4
Onion - 1 small
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp
Green Chilli - 2
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
Sattu/Besan - 1 tbsp
Salt a per taste
Oil for frying
For the gravy
Onion - 2 large
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Cumin powder - 1tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Sattu/Besan - 1 tbsp (optional)
Salt as per taste
Coriander for garnishing
Oil - 3 tbsp
To make the koftas, heat enough water in a large dish to boil to the bananas. We need to boil the whole banana with the peel.
Boil bananas till they are soft to touch. You can also test with a skewer. If it goes in easily it should be done.
When done, drain the bananas and allow to cool.
While the bananas cool we can prepare the rest of the ingredients. Chop the onion, green chilli and coriander leaves finely.
Peel and mash the cooled bananas and add to a large mixing bowl.
Add the onion, green chilli, coriander, ginger-garlic paste, sattu/besan and salt to the mashed bananas. The sattu/besan acts as a binder here.
Mix very well. The mix should be even without any lumps.
Make 16 small balls of the kofta mix.
Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry all the koftas till golden brown.
Drain on an absorbent sheet and set aside.
To prepare the gravy, roughly cut the onion and tomato. Add to a grinder and grind the onion and tomato to a paste.
Heat oil in a deep, heavy bottom dish.
Add the onion and tomato paste to the oil. Cook for fifteen minutes on a low flame.
Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the oil separates.
Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
Add the sattu or besan if you are using. I add this to give the gravy a thick consistency. It also adds a little taste to the gravy. You can omit this if you do not want to add it.
Cook for another 10 minutes.
Add a 4 cups of water and allow to boil.
Turn off heat, add the garam masala, stir and cover.
If you are serving in the next half an hour add the koftas now.
Add the koftas to the gravy at the most 30 minutes before serving. If you add them too much in advance the koftas will absorb the gravy making the gravy very thick. The koftas will also break into pieces while serving.