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Courgette Koftas with an Almond & Tomato Sauce

Serves 6 


  • 750g (1lb 11oz) courgettes – grated
  • 1 medium onion – very finely chopped
  • 90 – 100g (3 – 4 oz) chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp paprika or red pepper flakes
  • 2 -4 hot green chillies or 2 birds eye chillies – finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • For deep – frying
  • 1 litre (2 pints) Sunflower oil

For the sauce

  • 6 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
  • 4 – 6 hot green chillies – or to your taste
  • 4cm (2 inch) piece of ginger – grated and squeezed and the resulting liquid reserved
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tsp bright red paprika
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
  • A small bundle of fresh coriander
  • Salt
  1. Squeeze the grated courgette of its excess liquid, one handful at a time.
  2. Then place all the kofta ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan so it is about 6cm (3 inches) deep. Add more oil if necessary.
  4. Use two tablespoons to drop the fragile mixture into the hot oil, a few koftas at a time.
  5. You can roll the mix in the palm of your lightly floured hands if you like, but it is best to lower the koftas into the oil with a spoon to reduce any danger.
  6. Turn them over carefully with two forks so that they are golden all over, which will take 2 – 3 minutes.
  7. Remove and drain on layers of kitchen paper.
  8. To make the sauce, start with the unusual step of blending the tomatoes, chili, ginger and spices to a smooth puree. Salt to taste.
  9. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add it all in.
  10. Fry over a quite high heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes or so adding about 125ml (4 fl oz) water to loosen the sauce and more as the sauce cooks.
  11. Use more tomatoes and add water while the whole thing cooks.
  12. When the sauce is hot, gently add the koftas and heat together for 3 -4 minutes.
  13. Garnish with fresh coriander, leaves plucked off the stalks, and serve with rice.