{Recipe} Alu Kofta with Green Pea Dhal and Cashew Sauce


This month, I celebrate 17 years as a vegan. Yay! It truly is one of the best life decisions I have EVER made (along with marrying Mat, and having our precious children :)).

Today’s Recipe

I am featuring recipes from a cookbook that I acquired in 1996 (the year I embraced veganism). The cookbook is called Wolf and Lamb. It was written by the owner of one of my favourite vegan eateries, 20 000 Cows. A friend of mine visited Byron Bay for a holiday in ’96, and brought the book back as a gift for me. It has had a special place amongst my recipe books ever since.

A friend, Laura, and her son, Toby, visited our place on the weekend. Mat decided to cook Alu (potato) Kofta with Green Pea Dhal and Cashew Sauce. I wasn’t going to disagree with that tasty proposition! He has made this dish on a couple of ‘special’ occasions over the years.

Following, are 3 separate recipes.  Combined, they make an impressive, decadent meal.

Green Pea Dhal is delicious with rice as a complete meal in itself. It is a quick and simple dhal recipe, for those occasions when you don’t have time to soak split peas or lentils!


Mat made the Green Pea Dhal ahead of time, and we had some for dinner. He served it with leftover vegetable and chickpea curry, basmati rice, and pappadams. This recipe makes a large quantity, so there was plenty left over to accompany the Alu Kofta the next day.

The Cashew Sauce is truly delicious. Don’t scrimp on it for this recipe. It really transforms the Alu Kofta into something special 🙂

Cashew sauce is also delicious as a dip with crackers (it thickens with refrigeration), or with steamed broccoli.

cashew sauce1

Cashew Sauce

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity – approximately 2 cups

Ingredients –

100g/3.5 oz cashews (soaked for 4 hours)

100g/3.5 oz cashews, chopped into pieces (do not soak)

1/2 knob of garlic, crushed or chopped (ie. 4-5 cloves)

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional, or to taste. Mat used 1/2)

1  Tbsp poppy seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 can coconut cream

1 Tbsp olive oil (or a few splashes of water) for pan frying

1 tsp salt (or to taste)


1. Process the soaked cashews in a food processor, with 1 Tbsp of the soak water.  Process until a creamy sauce forms. Add more soak water, a tsp at a time, if required.

2. Heat oil (or water) in a fry pan or wok, add the garlic, ginger, and chilli. Stir. Once browned, add the poppy seeds and fennel seeds. Fry for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the chopped cashew pieces and stir well. Cook  for one minute.

4. Add the processed cashew mixture, coconut cream, and salt. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring continuously.

5. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for a couple of minutes.

6. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add water or additional coconut cream.

Store leftover Cashew Sauce in the fridge.



Green Pea Dhal

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity- Serves 4-6 as a main dish, or 8-10 as a side dish (makes 2 litres).

Ingredients – 

1kg/2.2 pounds of fresh or frozen peas (we use frozen)

1 knob of garlic, chopped (ie. 8-10 cloves)

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional, or to taste. Mat used 1/2)

2 tsp hing (also known as asafoetida)

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 cup coconut cream

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp olive oil


1. Pour the frozen peas into a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water to a level of 2cm above the peas. Set the bowl aside while the peas defrost.

2. Fry the garlic and chilli in the oil on a medium heat, in a large fry pan or wok. Once browned, add the garam masala and hing. Mix well. Cook for at least  one minute, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.

3. Once thawed, place the peas and half of the soak water into a food processor. Pulse until water and peas are beginning to combine. Do not over-process. Some of the peas should still be intact.  A ‘mushy’ pea consistency is preferable.

4. Return the fry pan to a medium heat. Add the coconut cream and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1 minute.

5. Add the pea mixture and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer while stirring regularly. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

6. Serve.



Alu Kofta

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity – 30 balls. Serves 4-6 (as a side dish, with green pea dhal)

Ingredients – 

4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled

2 tsp olive oil or vegan margarine

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup chopped shallots (spring onions), dill, or coriander (Mat used shallots)

100g/3.5 oz cornflour

Olive oil for deep frying


1. Cut the potatoes into quarters, and place in a saucepan. Cover the potatoes with just enough water to cook them. Add the salt. Bring the water to the boil, then simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked (they are ready when can be pierced with a fork).

 2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and drain off most of the water.

3. Add the oil (or vegan margarine), turmeric, and fennel seeds to the saucepan. Mash the mixture, with a fork or potato masher, until smooth. Allow the saucepan to stand (and cool) for about 15 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, add the cornflour and shallots. Mix well.


4. Heat oil in a saucepan until hot (Mat used a small saucepan to reduce the amount of oil required, and fried one or two balls at a time).

5. Form the potato mixture into small balls (about the size of a whole walnut). Place gently into the saucepan and fry until a golden crust has formed.* Place fried kofta balls on paper towels, to soak up some of the excess oil.

6. Optional step – Brown the Alu Kofta balls in a moderate oven, prior to serving. Thanks for the suggestion, Laura 🙂

7. Serve with Green Pea Dhal, Basmati rice, and Cashew Sauce. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

* If the first ball disintegrates when placed into the oil, you will need to add more cornflour to the mixture. (Mat has never had this problem).

To Assemble


Serve on a large dinner plate. Place Basmati rice next to Green Pea Dhal. Set the Alu Kofta balls on top of the Green Pea Dhal, evenly spaced. Drizzle Cashew Sauce over the Alu Kofta balls. Place mint leaves on top of the rice.


The next day, Mat and I ate a few leftover Kofta balls. I baked them for 1o minutes in a moderate oven. They were scrumptious smothered in Cashew Sauce.

Each Monday, I feature a couple of delicious vegan recipes that are enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys them too!



About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

32 Responses to {Recipe} Alu Kofta with Green Pea Dhal and Cashew Sauce

  1. Oh my. That looks so delicious. I usually forget green peas (not necessarily by accident), but this is a recipe I can get on board with! The kofta look so delicious, too…and I appreciate the generous usage of coconut throughout. Yum!

    • Ally says:

      I appreciate the coconut too! I adore coconut cream. It is delicious in the cashew cream. You could add more than 1/4 cup to the dhal if you wanted to.

  2. Brittany says:

    YAY for 17 years of being vegan! MY goodness that is impressive and amazing. I cannot wait til I’m there too!! I’m on 1 year! YAY! 7 years as a vegetarian, but not quite the same. YUM recipe!

    • Ally says:

      Thanks Britt. You’ll be there too one day. Don’t wish those years away too fast though!
      So, you became vego as a teen too? Good on you!

  3. Yay for 17 years vegan! You are definitely living an inspiring life to others through your blog and living as a vegan family 🙂

  4. Linda says:

    Congratulations on your veganversary! (i saw a card for that the other day). This meal looks really good. It’s made me hungry for Indian food, and it’s only 6 am!

    • Ally says:

      It is very yummy!
      Wow, I didn’t know they had veganiversary (ha, auto correct changed that to ‘vegan overdraft’) cards. I imagine there isn’t a big market for them? Maybe I’ll be hanging out for a card at 20 years!

  5. playlovevegan says:

    oh boy! can your matt cook me dinner? mine cuts veggies :p

  6. Congrats on your veganversary! ❤ That whole meal looks amazing, but you've now put the idea of that cashew sauce with broccoli in my head and I can't stop thinking about it – yum!

  7. Andra Muhoberac says:

    How wonderful are cashews?! I don’t know what I would do without them. That cashew sauce on kofta balls looks great. I’ll try them for sure. Green pea dahl sounds mighty good, too. Never thought of it, although I’d often made a combination dahl with 2 or 3 kinds of lentils and already cooked black eyed peas. Thanks! You guys are so special!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ally says:

      Thanks Andra! Your comments always put a smile on my face 🙂
      I absolutely agree! Cashews are so versatile. We always have a steady supply in our fridge. The kofta balls are delicious. I think they tasted even better the next day.
      Your dahl sounds yummy, much more exciting than using only one type of lentil or bean.

  8. susykat says:

    OH MY GOD. These are such beautiful recipes. And they seem a lot simpler to make than I would have guessed. I just want to eat it all now 😀

    • Ally says:

      Have you ordered kofta balls at 20 000 Cows? I have once or twice. Mat’s favourite obviously!
      We might be heading there for my birthday 🙂
      You should make this!

      • sebprot1 says:

        I haven’t ordered them there, but I have eaten them off other people’s plates (yours & Mat’s) when dining there 😉 I remember Mat made them one time when I was visiting, and I was blown away. I wish I was gonna be up for your bday!

      • Ally says:

        I thought Mat had made them for you- ages ago!- but then I couldn’t recall, and wondered if it was tempeh curry. Maybe he made that too?
        Re: the birthday. I know, me too. One day!

  9. Congrats on your 17 years of veganism – you go girl! I love dhal, but I’ve never made it myself. Your recipe looks delicious, however; so maybe it’s time to try it.

  10. That entire meal looks incredible! I absolutely love that cashew sauce with the poppy seeds too. What an amazing set of recipes. Congrats on 17 years..that is truly incredible!

  11. susykat says:

    As you know, I made the green pea dahl and the alu kofta for dinner tonight. They weren’t overcomplicated to prepare – I was happy about that. I didn’t have any hing for the dahl, but it was still extremely tasty, and I also substituted regular onion for the shallots in the alu kofta. Next time, I would chop the onion a bit finer. It was all so lovely! I served them with white rice, mango chutney, hot mango pickle and papadums!

    • Ally says:

      Yum! I like the sound of mango pickle and mango chutney. That’s what we didn’t have!
      I’m really glad that you enjoyed it.
      We use hing as a substitute for garlic. But there is enough garlic in these recipes! I think the absence of hing would go unnoticed.

  12. liveblissful says:

    Congratulations for 17 years of vegan! This looks fantastic. Love it all! Thanks so much for sharing this 🙂

  13. I shouldn’t be reading this just before going out for lunch because I’m already so hungry and now I’m feeling quite desperate. 17 years is a long time to have been a vegan, that’s certainly worth celebrating and these dishes look like the perfect way to mark the occasion. I’ll be back to look at them again in more detail when I’m less ravenous.

  14. mandyunruh says:

    Cashew sauce will happen for new clients next week. Thank you!

  15. Sophie33 says:

    A wonderful creation! I love it all: so special too! 🙂

  16. Ally says:

    Thanks Sophie! 🙂

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