Cashew nut and paneer koftas

Serves: 6
Course: Starter
Cooking Time: 0 hr 10 mins
  • Serves 6-8
  • 225g paneer
  • 2 potatoes, boiled
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 75g white bread
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • One and a half teaspoons salt
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

With sweet, crunchy cashews, creamy paneer and a little zing from fresh green chilli and coriander, these bite-sized balls make irresistible party canapés. They are also wonderful as a starter, served with salad and chutney. Vegetarian koftas are often made from potatoes, chopped vegetables and lentils, but for this recipe I have chosen cashew nuts, which in India are used in many types of dishes, including curries and desserts. Desiccated coconut helps give the koftas an appealing texture.

Grate the paneer and boiled potatoes into a large mixing bowl.

Using a food processor, finely grind the cashew nuts, then add the bread and blitz once more. Mix the pulverized bread and ground nuts into the potato mixture with the desiccated coconut, coriander, chilli and salt. Combine the ingredients well and bring the mixture into a ball. Divide this into bite-sized portions and shape these into balls, compressing them tightly.

Pour vegetable oil into a tall saucepan to a depth of one-third (or use a deep-fat fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Heat the oil over a medium heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. Once it is hot, carefully drop some of the koftas into the oil and fry, in batches, for two minutes on each side until golden brown.

Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve hot with chutney or a raita. The koftas will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat them in an oven preheated to 180ºC/gas 4 for 10-15 minutes before serving.