Tag Archives: fennel

Tofu and Lauki Koftas with Cashew Curry – Vegan

IMG_1629Fall continues to delight the soul and inspire recipes that are warm and comforting for the season.  So this recipe take quite a few ingredients and steps but its worth it. I have added the flavors of Fennel and Dry ginger to bring in the Kashmiri influence. This recipe is vegan but you could add fresh cream instead of coconut milk if you like.

Lauki or Bottle Gourd is a staple in Kashmir but you can use Zucchini as an alternative.

Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry
Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry

Tofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew Curry

Tofu and Lauki Koftas

Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry

Tofu Koftas in Cashew Curry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

For the Tofu and Veggie Koftas

  • A pack of organic firm tofu – drained of all water and crumbled in a bowl
  • 2 cups of grated Lauki (Bottle Gourd)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Green chilis – 2 finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 2- 3 tablespoons of besan ( Chickpea flour)
  • salt to taste

For the curry sauce

  • Onion – 1
  • Tomatoes – 4 peeled or from a can
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked for 30 mins
  • 2 green chilis
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Ground ginger and garlic ( 1 whole head of garlic and 2 inch ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp black cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1inch cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

Putting it together

  • Take the Tofu out of the package and drain until dry
  • Take the grated Lauki and immerse in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain well and squeeze out the water.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for the Koftas. Adjust the flour to get a good light consistency.
  • Make moderate size balls and let them rest. Now you can deep fry these, bake them or use the pan I used, a good quality Takoyaki pan that has uses in multiple cuisines. Takes a dash of oil in each cup to cook the veggie balls. Make sure you rotate them to cook evenly.
  • Once the batch is fried, let them rest on a towel until the sauce is ready.
  • Blend the cashews, onion, tomatoes and green chili.
  • Add olive oil to a pan, sprinkle the Cumin seeds and Fennel seeds. Add garlic and ginger paste  and fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the dry ginger powder, fennel powder, cardamoms, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala and the red chili.
  • Add the cashew mixture and cook down until the oil separates from the mixture
  • Add a cup of water  and the coconut milk to the mixture and bring it to a saucy consistency. Add the Koftas and cook on medium heats for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Top with some fresh lemon juice and chopped chilis and serve with rice or naan.
Tofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew CurryTofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew Curry

Matar Paneer with pepper – Indian cheese with peas and pepper

Quick, delicious and easy to make….


A chunk of home made or store bought cheese ( paneer) cut in 1 inch pieces

1 tbsp mustard oil

1/2 tsp each mustard seeds, onion seeds and fennel seeds, cumin seeds

a pinch of hing ( asafetida)

10 pieces of curry leaves

1 tsp tumeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 cup peas

1 cup diced green/red pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the seeds. Once the seeds have popped, add the curry leaves and hing. Saute for 30 secs on medium heat and add tumeric and coriander. Add the cheese pieces and fry until coated with all the spices and they turn a little brown. Add pepper and peas ( i used frozen). Let everything cook covered for about 5 – 10 mins. The dish should be dry as in the picture. Garnish with mint and lime juice. Serve with bread or rice. I served it with the Karela roti I have in the earlier postsImage