Kofta, a classic dish of Moghul origin, is one of the most important preparations of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Traditionally, koftas are simmered in a delicate sauce and turned into a curried main dish.
THE KOFTA: Combine potatoes, peas, cheese, chile, coriander, cumin, salt, cashews and raisins.
Form mixture into 1-inch balls.
Make a batter with the flour and water. Season with pinch of salt, if desired.
Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan.
Dip balls into batter to coat completely, and deep-fry until brown (do not crowd), about 4 minutes. Set aside. (If you want the kebabs to remain firm, put them on a heated serving platter, and tent with foil. To serve, bring cream sauce to a boil and pour over koftas)
THE SAUCE: Grind cashews, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic with a little water to make a fine paste. Set aside.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion and saute until wilted; stir in ground paste and cook 2 minutes.
Add turmeric, paprika, coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir in half-and-half and water. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
Stir in cream. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Pour over koftas.
Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Note: Chick-pea flour (also called besan) may be purchased at Indian grocery stores.