For the koftas (makes 18-20)
350 gms paneer (I used homemade)
2 medium potatoes boiled and grated
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp heeng
Salt to taste
Oil to grease the appe pan
For the gravy
1 big onion chopped
1" piece ginger chopped
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
2 medium tomatoes blanched (make slight cuts/insertions on the skin and boil for 5 mins. Remove from heat and once cooled, remove the skin and eyes)
8-9 cashews soaked
3-4 kashmiri whole red chillies soaked
1" piece cinnamon, 3 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 4 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds (I did 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp shahjeera or caraway seeds)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp roasted and crushed kasuri methi
2 tbsp cream plus more for garnishing
Start with making the koftas. Crumble the paneer with your hands if using homemade or grate them finely if using store bought. Add all other ingredients except the oil and mix well. Taste the koftas for adequate seasoning keeping in mind that the gravy will have salt as well. If you are making the balls in advance, then keep them in an air tight container in the refrigerator until further use. Else, just keep them aside for a while as you prepare for the gravy.
Heat oil in a pan and add the whole garam masala and let it splutter. Add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and fry till soft. Remove from heat and let it cool. In a grinder, blend together the blanched tomatoes (skin removed) and the fried onion mix and the soaked cashews and kashmiri whole chillies. Make a smooth paste and keep aside.
Now grease the appe pan and heat it. Add the balls to each pocket and fry them on a low heat uniformly on all sides by turning them carefully without breaking.
While making the koftas, start preparing the gravy. Heat oil (just 1 tsp is sufficient) and add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add the spice paste and saute on medium flame till oil starts appearing from the sides. Add the dry spices and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. The gravy should not be too thick nor too thin as it will dry up when cooled down. Add the crushed kasuri methi and cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as required. I like to add a dash of sugar at the fag end. You may skip this step. Remove from heat and transfer to the serving bowl. Now add the fried koftas to the gravy and let them soak the gravy for at least 30 minutes. Serve hot garnished with some more cream.