Lauki Kofta Curry

Koftas are basically crispy deep fried vegetable balls. There are many types of koftas that are used in various cuisines. Most popular in India are aloo kofta, lauki kofta, cabbage kofta, panner kofta etc. These fried koftas are added to a tangy tomato based gravy usually and they taste really tasty. You can make this dish for any occasion and it will spice up your menu. This is a mildly spiced curry but you can adjust the spice according to your own taste. This recipe is my grandmother’s. Her koftas literally melt in your mouth and the tasty gravy just makes it better. I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while now but couldn’t get my hands of lauki as its not so easily available
here.

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Koftas are slightly different from pakoras. The difference lies in the consistency of the batter. Kofta batter is thicker than pakora’s batter. And koftas are slightly more time consuming to make as it takes a little time to shape them and fry them. But to save time you can make this the day before and keep them in fridge.

HEALTH FACTS:

Bottle gourd is mostly available in tropical country like ours. Not easily available in is extremely good for digestion. It is said to be very cooling, diuretic and anti-bilious (reduces bile and stops indigestion). The B vitamins assist in increasing the body’s metabolic rate to better digest fats, proteins, sugar and carbohydrate.

Let’s get started:

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

FOR THE KOFTAS:

2 cups grated Lauki or bottle gourd

3-4 teaspoons gram flour (besan)

1 finely chopped green chilli

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

FOR THE GRAVY:

1 medium sized onion

2 ripe tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

1 small piece ginger

½ teaspoon cumin

3 spoons fresh milk/ cream

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 pinch of turmeric

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt to taste

Oil

Coriander for garnish

METHOD:

  1. To prepare the koftas, grate lauki or bottle gourd. Add little salt and keep aside for a few mins. Once the water seperates, squeeze the water out of them. Keep aside the water. It will be used while making the gravy.
  2. Now in a bowl mix take all the ingredients for koftas including the grated lauki and mix well. Bind them well and make small balls.
  3. Heat oil in kadai and fry the koftas until they are crispy and golden brown. Take them out and dry them on a piece of napkin to remove any excess oil.
  4. In a jar, take the ripe tomatoes and blend them into a fine paste.
  5. Remove the excess oil from the kadai, leaving about 1 teaspoon of oil in it. Once it is hot, add onions, garlic and ginger and fry it for few minutes. Take out and blend this into a fine paste.
  6. In a pan, heat one table spoon oil and add cumin in it. Fry it till they crackle.
  7. Add onions pasteand fry them until the paste starts turning golden.
  8. Add tomato paste, salt and turmeric and fry until they oil separates from the sides.
  9. Once its nicely fried, add chili powder, garam masala and the water we kept aside from squeezing the lauki. Mix well and let it boil for a few minutes.
  10. Once the gravy is well cooked and reaches the desired consistency, add the koftas and let them simmer for another minute.
  11. Switch off the flame and garnish it with coriander.

SERVE HOT AND HAPPY EATING:)

TIPS:

  1. Grandma’s tip:  Squeezing all the water off the grated lauki is very important for tasty koftas. If you feel like it still retains some water, you can fry it in a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes to evaporate the excess water.
  2. All koftas should be off equal size. If sizes differ then their frying times will differ. If not fried properly, koftas just won’t taste as tasty as they usually do.
  3. Koftas curry is very heavy. 2-3 koftas a person is more than enough.
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