Tuesday, 14 May 2013

K is for… The Kinkajou and Kidney Bean Koftas

I have been blogging for all of five minutes and have made an exciting discovery… the world of food blog challenges. Not only does this bring out my competitive side but my first foray into this unchartered territory has made me reinvent an old and well-loved recipe.

The Alphabakes Challenge  is hosted this month by Caroline Makes and she has selected K for the month of May (what a nice ring to it that has) and my offering is Kidney Bean Koftas… a veritable cluster of Ks. Taken from an old recipe that involved that liberal addition of cashew nuts this is a far healthier version and not content with only mild tinkering I’ve also changed the spice combination. The result is something that is nothing like the original recipe but is delicious all the same.

Kidney Bean Koftas

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
½ - 1 green chilli
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
1 medium carrot
1 vegetable stock cube
½ pint water
1 tin green lentils
1 tin kidney beans
1 tbsp lemon juice
200g frozen spinach
30g fresh coriander
Zest of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Whizz the onion, garlic and chilli in a food processor. I paired the koftas with a particularly spicy chilli jam so only put in half the chilli this time but the whole chilli would give them a lovely kick (particularly if you left the seeds in).

2.    Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions et al with a pinch of salt. Reduce down for a good 10 minutes until they have a glassy look. If they are sticking add more oil or a splash of water if you’re being healthy.

3.    Pop the carrot in the food processor and chop finely (this can of course all be done by hand) and add to the onion mix with the tomato puree. Fry off for a further 5 minutes.

4.    Add in the dry spices and cook for another couple of minutes until your kitchen is filled with the hunger inducing smell of Indian flavours. Add seasoning and have a taste.

5.    Add in the lentils, spinach, lemon juice, water and stock cube and reduce down on a light simmer. You’ll need to stir every so often. Once most of the moisture has gone, squish the lentils a bit with the back of a wooden spoon so it forms a chunky paste.

6.    Pulverise the kidney beans in the food processor (it’s getting plenty of work for this recipe) or use a potato masher then combine in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, spicy lentils, fresh coriander and lemon zest.

7.    If you have time leave the mix to stand for half an hour or so. Form into balls an roll in polenta for a lovely crispy crumb.

8.    Place on a greased baking sheet and use some spray oil on the top if you have it.

9.    Pop into an oven at Gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes – until they are golden brown with a crispy outer shell. Or if you are feeling particularly decadent you could deep fat fry them, koftas are delicious cooked this way but certainly not the slimmer’s option!

I served these with salad, yogurt, a spicy chilli jam and Khobez flatbreads as a bit of a build it yourself kind of supper. You could use any kind of wrap of pitta bread, but I highly recommend these – they can generally be found in Middle-eastern shops and have a lovely chewy texture.

And a Kinkajou..?

In the spirit of celebrating all things K I thought you might like to learn something new. A Kinkajou (also known as a Honey Bear) is a rainforest dwelling animal with a rather fetchin curly tail. It can be found foraging in south and central America.


  1. I love the Kinkajou! And this is a great use of the letter K for alphabakes, thanks for entering and welcome to the world of blog challenges!

    1. Hi Caroline, pleased you like the kinajou too, one of the cutest little critters I've come across in a while!

  2. The recipe calls for breadcrumbs but you don't include the quantities!!!! Any idea? Thanks!

  3. That's a very good point, I am so sorry for not including and I am afraid I can't remember now how much I included. I tend to whizz up a slice's worth of bread crumbs at a time and then add them gradually until I have a consistency that I am happy with. Hope that helps.