Posto Paneer Kofta

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Spring is here and so are the thousand colors of nature. Every nook and corner of the street is filled with red, yellow, orange blossoms. Though with the heat rising in Kolkata, there’s not much feel good feeling about this time of the year but still there is a grand festival coming up in just a few days from now. Yes you have guessed it right, its HOLI time. Holi, the National Festival of India is celebrated throughout the states of the sub-continent and West Bengal too is not far behind. The main attraction of holi, or doljatra (as we Bengalis like to say) is the Boshonto Utsav or Spring Festival in Shantiniketan. Thousands gather at the Viswa Bharati grounds on the day from all over the world.

Thinking of colors, the first thing that comes to mind is red, green, blue and yellow.  Remember those days in school, the houses had these names and everybody used to fight with the other houses – Yellow, yellow dirty fellow or the first love letter you wrote – roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. Do you have any other such poems or phrases, you used to throw, then share it with us!

Paneer balls prepared in poppy and sesame gravy

Thinking about a colourful preparation I scratched my head but nothing authentically Bengali came to mind. So, thought of mix matching the Western with the Eastern. And, there it is the result – paneer kofta in thick poppy paste with slices of red and yellow bell pepper to spice and color it up.


For the kofta:

  • 400gms of paneer or cottage cheese, mashed finely
  • 4 teaspoon gram flour or besan
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, preferably brown sugar
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame, ground to a fine paste with the poppy
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 red and yellow bell pepper diced coarsely
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Few black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter or ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients required for kofta excepting the oil and make a soft dough
  • Prepare small balls each having a rough diameter of 3cm
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these balls in batches, keep aside
  • Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons of fresh oil, throw in the cumin seeds, as they start sputtering add the bell pepper and toss for a minute or two
  • Add the turmeric powder and season with salt and black pepper
  • Pour in the poppy and sesame paste and cook till the oil separates
  • Cover the gravy with 2 cups of water and stir well, cook covered for 10-12mins, check the seasoning
  • Put in the fried koftas as the gravy starts boiling, cook for 2-3min more and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with chapattis or rice

Hot Tips – Koftas tend to dry up the gravy, so if you are a gravy person try putting in more water or else, take out the koftas after cooking and serve the gravy and koftas separately.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, Palak Paneer with a Twist




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Palak in Paneer Bowl

So the guessing game was fun. Thank you all for the comments. Yes, you all have guessed it right the main ingredients were paneer (famer’s cheese) and spinach. Here goes the recipe for the yummy and delicious recipe from my mom’s kitchen.


Serves 6


For making the paneer bowls:-

Farmer’s cheese (Paneer): ½ kg

Wheat flour (Maida): ½ cup

Spinach paste (Palak shaakh bata): 1 large bowl

Garlic (Rasun): 10 -12 cloves, chopped finely

Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chilli powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoons for frying

Salt to taste

For making the gravy:-

Cashew nuts (Kaju badam): 30 gms

Poppy seeds (Posto): 100 gms

Green cardamom (Choto elaichi): 3-4

Cinnamon (Darchini): One 1″ size

Cloves (Labango): 3-4

Green chili (Kanch LAnka): 3 – 4

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon


 For making the paneer bowls:-

  • Take the paneer, wheat flour and salt in a large bowl and knead well to make dough. The dough shouldn’t be very soft, depending on the water content of the farmer’s cheese.
  • Make two inch diameter spheres from the dough
  • Using your hand make them into small bowls to hold the spinach
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok
  • As the oil becomes piping hot sauté the onions in it
  • Throw in the chopped garlic and ginger paste just as the onions turn golden
  • Add the spinach paste when the oil starts separating from the sautéed spices
  • Put in the turmeric and chili powder along with salt and sugar
  • Fry till the spinach gets dry
  • Take it out of flame and let it cool down completely
  • Take a large tablespoon of the fried spinach paste and put it into the paneer bowls
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fried spinach paste filled paneer bowls in batches
  • Drain the excess oil using a kitchen paper


 The fried bowls are an ideal snack for any evening party, or you can even use it as a starter along with tomato sauce. Read on if you want to make it into a curry.

For the curry:-

  • In a mixer grinder put in cashew nuts, poppy seeds, green chilies and ½ cup of water, make it into a smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and throw in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • As they start popping pour in the poppy paste along with salt and sauté till the oil starts leaving
  • Carefully add the fried farmer’s cheese bowls to the gravy and cook uncovered for 5 minutes
  • Take out from flame and serve with rice, paratha or roti


This dish was a instant hit among all my relatives when my mom cooked it for the first time. Though a little tedious and take almost 1 hour to prepare from the raw materials to the dining table, but the outcome is worth all these hard work. Look for more recipe here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Also this recipe is heading for the EFM-Savouries hosted by Srilekha.


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