Cauliflower and Chickpea Koftas

Cauliflower and Chickpea Koftas

There are many variations on koftas. They can be served as a starter with a spicy mint and yoghurt sauce and a side dish of mango chutney or as a main with a yoghurt and tomato sauce and served with basmatti rice and poppadums I have also provided an option for baking the balls for the health conscious or the quicker method of deep frying.

6 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15-30 minutes (dependent on if you are preparing it as a starter or main dish and choice of cooking method)


Cauliflower Koftas

  • 400g cauliflower
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 75g chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 400g canned chickpeas, drained
  • 50g cashews, finely chopped
  • pinch maldon salt
  • oil for baking or shallow frying

To Serve (as a starter):

  • 250g yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, shredded
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • pinch cayenne or ground chilli

Tomato and Coconut Cream Sauce (to serve as a main):

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground chilli
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml coconut cream
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Pinch maldon salt

To Serve

  • boiled basmatti rice
  • fried poppadums


  1. Cauliflower and Chickpea Koftas: Place all the ingredients except the chickpeas and cashews in a food processor and puree them until the cauliflower is broken down into a fine crumble.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas to the cauliflower puree mixture, blend briefly so that the chickpeas still have texture. Place the puree into a bowl and stir in the cashews until they are well combined.
  3. Form the mixture into small balls, place them on a lightly oiled plate or tray and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour before cooking.
  4. To Bake (optional): Preheat an oven to 180°C and place the balls on a well greased oven tray. Cook the koftas for around 30 minutes until they are golden brown.
  5. To Deep Fry (optional): Preheat a oil in a deep fryer, wok or large saucepan to 180°-190°C. Deep fry the kofta balls in batches until they float to the top and are golden brown and crisp. Remove them and drain them on kitchen paper, place the kofta's in a warm place while you cook the remaining ones.
  6. To Serve as a Starter: Serve the cauliflower koftas hot with a sauce made with yoghurt, lime juice, mint and a pinch of cayenne or ground chilli.
  7. Tomato Cream Sauce: Place the oil in a large saucepan and place the pan over a moderate heat. Add the onions to the oil and cook them until they are translucent and tender. Stir in the garlic, ginger and ground spices, cook the mixture while stirring regularly for a couple of minutes.
  8. Stir in the tomatoes and coconut cream bring the mixture to a strong simmer, then reduce to a steady simmer and leave it to cook for 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth or strain it to a sieve (this will give you a lighter sauce) and return it to the saucepan, add the cream to the pan and allow it to simmer for 1 minute. Set the sauce aside until ready to reheat to serve.
  9. To Serve as a Main: Place a little cooked rice in the centre of each bowl. Place the koftas around the rice. Pour the tomato and coconut sauce around the rice. Serve with a side plate with poppadums