Thursday, October 28, 2021

Shaam Savera

By Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, 21 Sep, 2016

    My signature preparation, the colours of this dish – saffron, white and green - proclaim my nationalism. Spinach koftas are filled with paneer and served floating on a saffron coloured, velvety gravy. It also stands for shaam, or dusk, as represented by the darker shades of the spinach, while the paleness of the paneer symbolizes savera or dawn. When displayed as koftas cut open in half to show off the light inside, the dish is more than just food, it is poetry on a plate.




    For spinach covering

    2 small bunches (500 grams) fresh spinach leaves, blanched, drained and pureed

    2 tbsps butter                                              

    1 tbsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera)          

    5 garlic cloves, chopped                       

    1 inch ginger piece, chopped             

    2 tsps green chilli paste                        

    1 tsp green cardamom powder

    1 tsp coriander powder                         

    3 tbsps cashewnut powder                

    Salt to taste

    8 tbsps roasted Bengal gram (chana)powder   

    Cornflour for dusting


    For kofta                                                           

    ½ cup grated cottage cheese (paneer)

    ¼ tbsp green cardamom powder

    ¼ tbsp white pepper powder

    Salt to taste

    ¼ tbsp cornflour

    Oil for deep frying


    For gravy                                                           

    ¼ cup oil

    ½ tsp caraway seeds

    2 cloves

    2 black cardamoms

    10 green cardamoms

    1 inch cinnamon stick

    1 medium onion, sliced

    8 garlic cloves, chopped

    1 inch piece ginger, chopped

    1 tsp turmeric powder

    5 medium tomatoes, halved

    ½ tbsp red chilli powder

    Salt to taste

    ⅓ cup butter

    ¼ cup broken cashewnuts

    1½ tbsps dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

    ½ tbsp green cardamom powder

    1 tsp honey


    For garnish

    2 tsps fresh cream

    ½ ginger piece, cut into thin strips

    1 green chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips



    For the spinach covering, melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Add the caraway seeds and sauté until they begin to change colour. Add the spinach puree, garlic, ginger, green chilli paste, green cardamom powder, coriander powder, cashewnut powder, salt and roasted chana powder and cook, stirring, till dry. Spread it out on a plate and set aside in a refrigerator to cool completely.

    For the kofta filling, mix together the cottage cheese, cardamom powder, white pepper powder, salt and cornflour and mix well. Divide into eight equal portions and roll into balls. Keep them in the refrigerator till required.

    For the gravy, heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan. Add the caraway seeds, cloves, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon, onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric powder and sauté for five to seven minutes.

    Add the tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and one cup water and cook, stirring for five minutes. Add the butter, cashewnuts, dried fenugreek leaves, green cardamom powder and honey and mix well. Let the gravy simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat.  Set aside to cool. Grind and strain the gravy into a bowl and discard the residue.

    To make the koftas, heat sufficient oil in a kadai. Divide the spinach mixture into eight equal portions. Coat each paneer ball with a portion of spinach and roll into a round ball. Roll the balls lightly in cornflour. Deep-fry on medium heat for three to four minutes. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside to cool slightly.

    To serve, pour the curry into a serving bowl. Halve the koftas horizontally and place them on the top of the gravy.  Garnish with a swirl of fresh cream, ginger and green chilli strips and serve. 


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