Jain Cuisine - Kadu Palak Roti and Doodhi Paneer Kofta Curry

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Longback P had been to a Swaminarayan temple along with a friend,followed by a lunch feast by the Gujarathi community. They had a second thought about the meal when they were informed that the food had no Onion ,no Garlic and no Potato.However,P lured his friend into it by highlighting their dessert specialities.Li’l did they know then ,that this would be one of their most delicious and lip smacking lunch.As bachelors(then) they cudn’t have asked for anything better.When P narrated this to me,I was amused but not surprised.I knew all and well about Gujarathi/Jain cuisine.Be it the presentation/spice level/variety they are arguably one of the best,my fav too!

When I was in India this time, the very first restaurant I had visited was a restaurant by name “ Rajdhani” in Delhi which served authentic Guju Thali.This was my automatic choice when my BIL asked my preference. I add sugar/jaggery in my everyday cooking,as I prefer li’l bit of sweetness in everything I eat.Guess this is one of the reasons for my love for Guju food,as they always have a sweet and spicy flavor to their food.Tomato forms their base for most of their curries.I tried making Kadu(Pumpkin) Palak(Spinach) ki Roti and Doodhi Palak Kofta curry,ie grated pumpkin crispy koftas in tangy tomato gravy,these are purely Jain food.These are Tarla Dalal’s recipe,however I have tweaked it a li’l to suit my requirement.I have almost all her collections with me and would proudly say that am one of her most ardent fans:-P.

Kadu Palak ki Roti

Preparation Time – 10min
Start to Finish – 25min
Serves – 1 – 2 (Makes abt 5 rotis)


Red Pumpkin(Kaddu) – 1 cup
Spinach – 1 cup(chopped)
Whole wheat flour(Atta) – 1 Cup + l’il more for rolling
Chilli Powder – 1 ½ tsp( increase as per your spice level)
Green Chilli – 1 tsp(minced/crushed)
Oil for cooking
Salt – for taste


1.Heat a tsp of Oil,add the spinach and sauté for 2 mins until cooked.Keep aside.(I used frozen spinach so just cooked it as per package instructions)
2.Mix this along with the rest of the ingredients except oil and knead into a soft dough.Use water if required.Knead well and divide them into small portions
3.Using a rolling pin, roll out them into a circle and cook each rotis on a hot griddle.Apply li’l bit of oil on both sides and cook until golden brown.Serve hot alongwith pickle and curd.

Most times, I have difficulty in getting the right shaped “rotis”.The pic also hasn’t come out very well,wanted to take another one but was so lazy to do so.

Doodhi Paneer Kofta Curry

The original recipe didn't have Paneer in it.

Preparation time – 10min
Start to Finish – 30min
Servings – 6


For the Koftas :

White Pumpkin(Doodhi/lauki) – 1 cup
Red Pumpkin – 1/2cup (This wasn't mentioned in the original recipe,I had some left with me hence added)
Rice Flour – ¾ cup
Green Chilli - 4 (minced/chopped)
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4tsp
Baking Soda – 1 pinch
Oil – for frying
Salt – for taste

For the Gravy:

Tomatoes - 4 (finely chopped,I used Roma tomatoes)
Bay Leaves – 3
Cloves – 4
Peppercorns – 6
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Cumin Powder(Dhaniya jeera powder) – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Coconut Milk – ¾ cup
Cream – ¼ cup
Corn flour – 1 tbsp(mixed with 1 tbsp water)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Paneer – 4 tbsp
Sugar – a tbsp
Salt – to taste
Cilantro – for garnishing

Method :

For the Koftas – 1. Mix all the ingredients except paneer together.The Pumpkin would have left water so ideally you wouldn’t need more water,however if needed you may add li’l water.
2.Make them into small balls,fill in few pieces of Paneer inside. Deep fry in oil until golden brown.As per the original recipe you may also microwave the balls for 40secs (I din’t try doing this)

For the Gravy:

Tomato Sauce - Grind chopped tomatoes(1 cup)+ ½ Cup Grated White Pumpkin(lauki/doodhi) + Sugar(1 tbsp)+Chilli Powder (1/2 tsp)+1/4 cup water+Salt to taste. Make this into a smooth puree and boil it in a small vessel,along with a bayleaf + 1” cinnamon stick+ 4 cloves+4 peppercorns.When the gravy starts thickening,add a tsp of cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp of water to it.Cook until the mixture resembles a smooth sauce

1.Heat oil in a pan,add bay leaves,cloves and peppercorns.Add chopped tomatoes,chilli powder,coriander cumin powder and asafetida
2.Cook until oil separates.Add tomato sauce(recipe above),coconut milk,cream.The gravy would ideally thicken if it doesn’t add the corn flour mixture.
3.Add the koftas,bring to boil and simmer for sometime.Garnish with cilantro and paneer.Serve hot with Roti.

These Koftas don’t stay soft for long.P took these for lunch and told me that these turned a li’l hard.So its better to be consumed the same day.Few days back i had made Malai Kofta and the koftas din't come out well,besan was used as a binding agent,they started breaking out when i dropped them in oil.I was anticipating similar issue this time too,but luckily rice flour did a fantastic job,the koftas were neat,crisp and tasty too.Guess rice flour should be used for any other koftas too,i shall try the next time.

These are off to Padmajha of “Seduce your tastebuds” who is hosting RCI Jain cuisine originally started by Lakshmi of the Veggie Cuisine.

Chaitra of Aathidhyam has passed on the above mentioned award…thank you so much Chaitra,that’s wonderful of you.

I have been trying few recipes that I had bookmarked,but haven't been capturing the pics,here are three of my fav ones......Tried and Tested:)

1.Mango Pudding by Bong Moms cookbook.

Verdict - The pudding was moist,soft,well baked and delicious.I reduced the sweetness in the pudding,this ended up being the finest pudding i have ever had.Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

2.Eggplant Potato Curry in Peanut Tamarind Gravy (without the potatoes) by Usha of Veg Inspirations

Verdict - It was tangy,the aroma of peanuts was excellent.It tasted very well without the potatoes too.

3.Mangalore Buns by SJ

Verdict - It was jes the way I had tasted it while in India.Soft inside,l'il crispy outside.Perfect sweetness and wonderful brown color.

Thanks all for sharing these wonderful recipes.


SriLekha June 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

palak roti and kofta curry is a very good combo! looks delicious and am drooling over it!

Ramya Vijaykumar June 4, 2009 at 7:34 PM  

The Palak Roti looks so healthy and neat!!! No words to say how good the kofta curry looks they should taste great together!!!

Varsha Vipins June 4, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

oh..that Kofta curry has got killerlooks..I have never tried this stuff myself..have to,now..:)

Gita June 4, 2009 at 7:58 PM  

The rotis look so delicious with the curry...nice photos :)

Padma June 4, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

Nice combination Nithya... both the dishes look great... and congrats on your award :)

Pooja June 4, 2009 at 9:43 PM  

The roti looks perfect! Healthy too. So is the kofta curry.Simply awesome :)

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine June 4, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

Pala roti, Kofta Curry, Pudding, bun all look so yummy. A real feast, feeling hungry after seeing all these.

Mahimaa's kitchen June 4, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

the gravy looks so rich and to die for :)

Prathibha June 4, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

Both the dishes look amazing..the koftas look perfect gal..Yeah i should Rajdhani serves excellent food...and you should try their undhiyu...its just lip smacking..

Suparna June 5, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

hi nithya,
I love gujju cuisine for the sweetness factor :) I too add sugar or jaggery in most of my cooking...it enchances the taste quite a lot :)
Tarla Dalal!!!...I am a big fan of her's too! I love to try out her recipes whenever possible and her recipes are so perfect and tasty.
Ur rotis look just so green and healthy I like such healthy rotis /parathas. kofta curry looks so gorgeous,hard to believe it's a combination of doodhi and paneer.
Fab job pal!

Kitchen Flavours June 5, 2009 at 1:23 AM  

Oh wow awesome recipes...completely new to me....Doodhi paneer kofta looks creamy and yum...Paratha looks awesome.....

Priya June 5, 2009 at 2:24 AM  

Wow Nithya...kofta curry looks creamy and very rich...While palak roti make me hungry, prefect entries:)

Chitra June 5, 2009 at 2:44 AM  

both r looking yummy, new to me..nice healthy ,combo:)good u have tried so many recipes from otehr blogs:)

Parita June 5, 2009 at 4:00 AM  

kaddu palak roti is new combination to me and looks yum yum..loved the kofta curry..so creamy and rich dish

Shama Nagarajan June 5, 2009 at 4:21 AM  

lovely delights dear

Kalai June 5, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

Paneer kofta curry looks creamy and delicious.Wonderful palak roti.

Pavithra June 5, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

Wow thats lovely combination both are looking so so perfect.. kofta curry is looking so creamy and palak roti vah superb..wish to have both .. really lovely nithya

Pavithra Kodical June 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Hmmm i am drooling after seeing the kofta curry..Perfect and great looking.And nice idea of using kadu with palak..My weekend breakfast is ready :)

ARUNA June 5, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

mouth-watering dishes Nithya....kofta looks yumm!!!

Priyameena June 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

Palak roti and panner curry looks Gorgeous.. Addiong red pumkin is new to me but I bet it will taste awesome..

anudivya June 5, 2009 at 12:59 PM  

It is very challenging for me to make anything without onion and garlic. I am amazed by what you have done... Looks good too.
Kofta looks great, I made them long back and only mistake I did was dunked all the kofta in and it kind of got soft the next day. Then I learnt that they are to be dunked only before serving! :)

Usha June 5, 2009 at 1:12 PM  

Kofta curry looks creamy and delightful ! I am so glad you tried the eggplant in tamarind peanut gravy and liked it :-)

Uma June 5, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

all the dishes look so wonderful! Tempting and delicious :) Congrats on the award!!

Vani June 5, 2009 at 7:27 PM  

Wow! Both the roti and the curry look super-delish!! Yeah, amazing how yum dishes can be even withut garlic and onion :)

Divya Vikram June 5, 2009 at 9:37 PM  

Lovely dishes. And congrats on the award!

kittymatti June 5, 2009 at 10:51 PM  

yummy!!! Creamy gravy looks perfect..nice recipes!

Hari Chandana June 6, 2009 at 2:51 AM  

looks nice and healthy.. lovely combination..Congrats on the award.. :)

Home Cooked Oriya Food June 6, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

Your kofta curry is so creamy... I am hungry here...

Ramya Bala June 7, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

Both the recipes very new to me...YUMMY!

Mangala Bhat June 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM  

WOW! what a lovely post ...palak roti and kofta curry looks heaven !Nice clicks too

Nithya Praveen June 8, 2009 at 3:36 PM  

Thanks all for the lovely comments!

Superchef June 8, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

wow! they all look ever so delicious!

even we had been to one of friends wedding in india...a jain wedding but the food was one of the best that ive ever had and i found it hard to believe that it was a no onion - no garlic food!

Lisa June 8, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

Oh, this sounds heavenly!! I have made koftas a few times and anything with paneer gets my attention. Great idea to use pumpkin! This is a must try recipe.

Pavithra June 16, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

Nithya i tried out ur kadu palak roti yesterday dear i came out very well .. thank u so much for sharing the recipe i have bookmarked this koftas too will try out soon and let u know

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