Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Delectable Eats: Lauki Kofta- Bottle Gourd Dumplings in a Tomato sauce

Lauki Koftas are delectable indeed!

I hadn't made them in a long while, and I am so glad I did. These are heavenly, especially the soft, Koftas along with the spicy,tomato sauce....this would be such a hit at dinner parties, I think!

Here is the very simple recipe:

You will need:

For the Koftas (dumplings):
1 large bottle gourd, or any soft squash- washed, peeled and grated.
Besan flour- as needed to bind the koftas ( around 2 tbsps)
1/2 cup: Grated Paneer
Ginger, Chili, Garlic Paste- to taste
salt, a pinch of sugar,
1 tbsp-Garam masala- to taste
1 tsp- aamchoor powder, ( dried mango powder)
bread crumbs- I used 2 slices of old bread
1 tbsp- raisins, cashews
1 sliced red onion, chopped finely

For the Gravy:

1 large onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 big knob of ginger, 2-3 green chilies - blend into a paste

3-4 large tomatoes- crushed, you can use canned tomatoes if you'd like

1/2 cup cashews, 1 tbsp- Khuskhus - soaked in some milk for half an hour at least and then blended to make a paste.

Cumin seeds, cinnamon, and a bay leaf - for the tempering

1/2 cup evaporated milk, you can use cream in its place, or even milk.

1 tbsp- your favorite garam masla, 1 tbsp- Kasturi methi
Salt, Sugar, chili powder, Jeera powder, turmeric - to taste

Oil- to deep fry the koftas
Oil- 1 tbsp to make the gravy

For the Koftas:

Wash, peel and grate the gourd or squash, whatever you're using. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on it and leave it to drain. Squeeze out as much water as you can from them so that your koftas won't be a soggy mess.
Mix all the ingredients in the Kofta list and make little dumplings out of them, I made Oblong ones. Deep fry and let them turn dark brown, taking care not to burn them. Set aside.

To make the gravy:

In a wide pan, heat some oil, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon and the bay leaf. Add the onion, chili, garlic and ginger paste and stir until the raw smell goes away. Now, add the Cashew-Khuskhus paste and stir well. After 2-3 minutes, add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the oil leaves the sides of the pan. Now add the spices, the garam masala, the methi, and the evaporated milk. Stir again and cover and simmer. Take out the bay leaf. Have a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. When ready to serve, add the fried koftas, and ladle the sauce over the koftas, taking care not to stir them too often, just let them simmer in the gravy for a bit. Garnish with some Cilantro.

Meal Ideas: Lauki Kofta, Puris, Raita, Jeera rice and Kaali Daal.


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