Vegetable Koftas with Tomato Saffron Sauce (gluten free)


I was expecting a fair number of guests for dinner and so I decided on a meze. Two of the guests were vegetarian and so I thought I’d make some potato koftas as an alternative to some Lamb ones.

As it was, the potato koftas proved the more popular: soft, herby and cheesy in the middle with a lovely crunchy exterior. I paired them with a saffron tomato sauce which brought out the mint and coriander flavours in the koftas beautifully.

The koftas are made with gram flour and so are gluten free as well. You can also omit the cheese for a dairy free recipe.

Potato Kofta with Tomato Saffron Sauce


For the Koftas:

  • 250g washed unpeeled potatoes
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • I red bell pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs gram flour (more may be required to bind)
  • 2 tbs fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh curly parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp roasted ground cumin
  • 2 tbs crushed feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oil, for deep frying

For the sauce:

  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 250g tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 pinch saffron, crumbled
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tsp worcester sauce
  • 200mls vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs fresh coriander, chopped


For the Vegetable Koftas:

  1. Boil the potatoes with their skins until cooked through.
  2. Remove the potatoes and set aside to cool.
  3. In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and cook the diced onions, pepper, chilli, and carrots until softened
  4. Peel and mash the cooled potatoes and place in a bowl
  5. Add the cooked vegetables, chopped coriander and cumin and mix thoroughly.
  6. Stir in the cheese (if using), gram flour and the beaten egg and season to taste
  7. Moisten your fingers and form the kofta mixture into walnut-size balls and place on a baking tray
  8. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up. (meanwhile make the sauce)
  9. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and gently fry the koftas a few at a time until they form a golden crust. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Roll the vegetable kofta mix into balls…

For the sauce:

(This sauce tastes even better if made the day before and stored overnight in the refrigerator)

  1. Place a pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and onions and saute until the onions just start to brown.
  2. Add the chopped pepper and cook until softened
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook until beginning to soften
  4. Add the garlic and once you start to smell the aroma of the garlic, add the saffron, paprika and tomato puree.
  5. Stir to combine the ingredients and then add your stock.
  6. Let the sauce come to a boil, then turn down to a simmer
  7. Stir in the coriander and mint and cook for 20-30 minutes until reduced down
  8. Blend until smooth and season to taste
  9. Serve the cooked koftas immediately with the sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon
  10. Enjoy!

Vegetable Koftas, Lamb Koftas and Falafel (Gluten Free)

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