My fried lamb /veal/ beef kofte have always been a hit, but not so with the shrimp ones until now. I have vivid childhood memories of enjoying the shrimp kofte and the lingering taste is still alive. I had always wanted to make them but failed each time I tried my hand at it. I kept trying and trying until one day it dawned on me to check with my sister who is a very good cook and the master chef of our family. And……. she let out the family secret to me which kind of shocked me. The secret of these shrimp kofte was in just one simple ingredient – the roasted black channa lentil. I kept trying with all the other dals (lentils) but little did I think of this. How could I? And why did I not call her before, instead of wasting so much time? Well, I am glad I did it now and so happy and thankful to her.
If you follow the recipe for the regular lamb/veal/beef kofte to make the shrimp you can never succeed coz the shrimp meat is so sticky and gooey it does not bind with the regular channa dal at all or any other dal. The result is a big mess and then you are left with, “I don’t know what to do with it now” kind of situation.
Roasted channa is the indian black chick pea also known as bengal gram or “phutané” in urdu. It is smaller than the regular large white chick peas, has an outer black shell and looks pale yellow inside when roasted and peeled as seen in the picture below. It has a light texture and flavour and is used in south Indian cooking.
I love these shrimp kofte for their great flavour. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do.
Here’s the recipe:
25 large Shrimp
1/4 cup roasted channa
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2-4 green chillies
1 tbs onion diced
1 tbs fresh coconut grated (optional)
1 sprig of fresh cilantro
1. Lightly cook the shrimps with garlic and green chillies by just placing them in a sauce pan and turning them over till they turn opaque. Remove and set aside.
2. Grind together the roasted chana (phutané), grated coconut, onion, green chillies and cilantro in a wet grinder.
3. Add the shrimps and pulse one or two times till it combines with the channa mixture. Remove and mix well to combine everything together into a smooth dough.
4. Shape them into diamonds and deep fry them in medium hot oil. Please note that they burn too fast if the oil is very hot. They fry well evenly in medium hot oil.
5. Fry them to golden brown, remove, drain on a wire wrack or paper towels and enjoy with mint chutney.