Lauki Ka Kofta is a delightful Veg Preparation in which koftas made of grated bottle gourd are deep fried before being added to flavorful, rich and creamy gravy.
Koftas arrived in Indian sub-continent with Turko-Afghan invaders in the 11th century AD. The word is understood to have been derived from Persian word ‘Kuftan’ that translates to ‘to beat’ or ‘to grind’ referring to the minced meat which is required for making meatballs from minced meat of lamb, beef, chicken or their combination. In many sense Koftas bear many similarities to its close cousin Kebabs. Both were brought in the sub-continent by the Turko-Afghans.
While both are made of minced meat, here’s a vital difference discussed in cookbook Jerusalem: “kebab for the most part is made on skewers, while the kofta is usually handmade. Kofta can be cooked on the stovetop in a curry or masala sauce.”
Noted Food historian and food critic Pushpesh Pant is this article ‘Koftas: Great balls of fire!’, writes: A true blue-blooded kofta, like a good kebab, has to have a distinct identity. It should be able to hold its own against all other contenders in the spread — qorma, kaliya, salan and more. It’s not just a matter of shape but texture and taste.
Having been the part of sub-continent for centuries, both Koftas and Kebabs have undergone significant changes including the birth of Vegetarian Koftas.
The religious beliefs in India prompted the food aficionados to come up with some notable dishes like Lauki Kofta, Kaccha Kela Kofta, Aloo Bukhara and Paneer Koftas. Lauki Ka Kofta is a delightful veg preparation in which koftas made of grated bottle gourd are deep fried before being added to flavorful, rich and creamy gravy.
Koftas by all means are elaborate and time consuming preparations. It’s advisable if you plan this dish for your weekend lunches or dinners as that grants you sufficient time frame for planning this dish. This recipe is based on three important pastes or Puree-Onion Masala paste which provides a base to the gravy, Cashew and Poppy seeds paste that adds to the richness of the gravy and Tomato puree which adds to the flavor of the gravy. If you do not prefer adding Cashew pastes in your gravy preparations, then you can replace it with whisked Curd.
Enjoy your weekend with this delicious Lauki Ka Kofta. You can serve it with some Parathas, Naan or Roti. It can also be enjoyed with some steamed rice. Remember to share your feedback with us in comment section below
- Kofta Balls: -
- 1 Bottle Gourd (approx 250gms)
- 2 Green Chilies-chopped
- 1-inch Ginger root-grated
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander leaves-chopped
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder- ¼th tsp in Kofta and ¼th tsp in Gravy
- ½ tsp Dry Mango Powder
- ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
- ½ Cup=50gms Gram Flour
- For Kofta Curry: -
- 1½ tbsp Poppy Seeds-soaked in 3 tbsp water for 30 mins
- 2 tbsp (15-20) Cashewnuts- soaked in warm water for 30 mins
- 2 Large=150gms Tomatoes- pureed
- 1 Large=100gms Onion-sliced into lengths
- 10-12 Cloves of Garlic
- 3 Green Chilies
- 1-inch Ginger root
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder-less spicy
- 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Cooking Oil
- 2 tbsp Clarified Butter
- To start with, we will make Bottle gourd Koftas. We need 1½ cups of grated Bottle gourd. Peel the skin off. Grate with the help of a grater (medium sized holes)
- Grated bottle gourd weighs approx 250gms =1½ Cups. Squeeze out the water by pressing between your palms. Bottle gourd has lot of water content which must be squeezed out. If we do not squeeze out the water, it will make the Kofta batter too sticky to handle.
- Do not throw away the water. This nutritious liquid can be used to knead dough for Rotis.
- Add grated Ginger, chopped Coriander leaves, chopped Chilies, ¼th tsp Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Dry Mango Powder. Add Salt to taste. We will add Gram flour gradually in the batter for binding. I have dry roasted gram flour for couple of mins before adding it in. Mix all ingredients
- Heat Oil in a Pan for deep frying. Let's make round ball shaped Koftas. Apply water or Oil on palms. Roll into lemon sized balls. Do not keep the batter resting for long time as it may become too sticky. In this measurements, we can make 9-10 Koftas. Let's fry these balls. Heat Oil on high heat. Fry Kofta balls on low heat until it becomes golden brown in color from all sides (min and a half). Remove Koftas from Pan and keep aside. Similarly, fry remaining koftas
- Let's make Masala for gravy. We will start making Onion masala paste. Heat 2 -3 tbsp Oil in a Pan. Add Ginger and Garlic and fry until Garlic becomes brown in color. When Garlic becomes brown, add sliced Onions and Fry until Onions becomes brown in color. Add pinch of Salt. Salt brings out the moisture in Onions and helps it in becoming brown evenly.
- Onions become brown in about 8 mins. Now, add Green Chilies. Stir and switch off the heat. Allow it to cool down completely.
- While Onion Masala cools down, lets make Cashewnuts-Poppy Seeds paste. Drain water from Cashew and put it in a grinder jar. Put soaked poppy seeds in the jar and Grind into a smooth paste.
- Cashew-Poppy Seeds paste is ready. Keep it aside. Put fried Onion Masala in a grinder jar and grind into a smooth paste. We have used ¼th Cup water while grinding Cashew-Poppy seeds paste. We have used 2 tbsp water for making Onion masala Paste
- Let's start with the Curry now. In a Pan, put 1 tbsp Oil and 2 tbsp Ghee. Ghee adds in a wonderful flavor in this curry. When Ghee+Oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add Turmeric Powder and Red Chili Powder. Add chili powder on low heat . This prevents burning of chili powder. Adding Chili Powder in Oil imparts a dep red color to the gravy
- Add Onion masala paste and Bhunao.Add Coriander Powder. Add 1-2 tbsp water and cook Masala for 4-5 mins.
- Add Cashew-Poppy Seeds paste. Before adding it to the Pan, loosen the paste with 2 tbsp water. If you add the paste without loosening, it will form lumps and ruin the texture of gravy. Stir quickly and cook this masala for few mins
- We have cooked masala for 5 mins on low heat and oil begins to ooze out on top. Add Tomato Puree and Garam Masala. Add Salt to taste and cook Tomato puree for few more mins.
- This masala has a thick texture and it may bubble and pop out of the pan, so always cook covered. We have cooked covered the masala paste for about 5 mins
- Now, let's add hot water in masala. Adding hot water in gravy retains the temperature of gravy. We have added 2 Cups of water in gravy. Allow the gravy to boil on high heat. Lower the heat and cook covered for 3-4 mins.
- Remove the lid after 3 mins of cooking. Add fried Kofta balls. Mix well. Turn off the heat. Keep covered until serving
Click to watch recipe video