RECIPE: Chetna Makan’s spinach kofta with creamy almond-onion curry recipe

This kofta recipe is a true crowd-pleaser in Chetna Makan’s household.

“It’s really flavourful, but quite light,” she explains – making it one of her children’s favourites from her new cookbook.

For Makan, the best way to serve it is with a bit of everything: “It’s lovely with rice and naan.”

Chetna Makan’s spinach kofta with creamy almond-onion curry recipe


(Serves 4)

2tbsp sunflower oil

250ml water

100ml natural yogurt

¾tsp salt

1tsp chilli powder

1tsp sugar

Red chilli flakes, to garnish

For the paste:

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 green chilli, roughly chopped

40g white poppy seeds

40g blanched almonds

2.5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

100ml water

For the koftas:

1 potato, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces

100g spinach leaves, finely chopped

½tsp salt

60g cornflour

Sunflower oil, for shallow-frying


1. Blitz all the paste ingredients in a blender (preferably) or a food processor until smooth. Heat the oil in a pan and add the paste with 50ml of the measured water. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

2. Meanwhile, make the koftas. Put the potato pieces in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then cook for five minutes until cooked through. Drain the potato, put it into a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the spinach, salt and cornflour and mix well. Divide the mixture into 10–12 portions and form each into a ball about the size of a lime, then flatten them slightly.

3. Heat enough oil for shallow-frying in a frying pan. Line a plate with kitchen paper. Add the koftas to the hot oil and cook over a medium to high heat for one to two minutes until golden and crispy. Transfer to the paper-lined plate to absorb the excess oil.

4. Whisk the yogurt with the remaining 200ml water in a small bowl. Gradually add to the paste and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute. Then stir in the salt, chilli powder and sugar and cook for two minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, place the koftas on top and serve, garnished with red chilli flakes.

 Chetna’s 30 Minute Indian by Chetna Makan, photography by Nassima Rothacker, is published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £20. Available now.