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Lauki Kofta

2 weeks ago / by Melanie Fourie

The bottle gourd can be the base for a great vegetarian meatball alternative

Lauki kofta
Lauki kofta. Shutterstock

Bottle gourd dumplings (kofta) are cooked in a spicy onion and tomato curry to create the wonderful meatball alternative, a popular vegetarian dish in the northern India. They are packed with nutrients and flavor, making it a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables.

Lauki (the bottle gourd), is a member of the gourd genus, and is a very healthy vegetable. Its high fiber content helps it fight excess weight and promote abdominal toning and slimming. It is recommended for diabetics because it contains no carbs. Those with diabetes will find it is an excellent alternative to potatoes.

The Recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the kofta:

  • 1 2/3 lb lauki
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp besan
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Oil for frying

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp green chillies (diced)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander

METHOD

  1. Test the lauki for bitterness. Peel it with a vegetable peeler and wash it.
  2. Cut the lauki in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, then grind the remainder in a box grater.
  3. Put 2 teaspoons of salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl with the shredded lauki.
  4. Rub the ingredients together well with your fingertips.
  5. Set the dish aside for 10 minutes.
  6. As you sprinkle salt on the lauki, it will wilt and release its water.
  7. Compress the lauki in your hands to get rid of excess water. Keep aside the squeezed-out water. Use it later in the sauce. Put the squished lauki into a second dish of similar size.
  8. Mix together a bowl’s worth of besan, a tsp of red chili powder, and a half tsp of garam masala.
  9. Roll the dough into spheres about the size of limes.
  10. Prepare a skillet with vegetable oil at medium heat to fry the kofta.
  11. Fry the balls in oil under medium heat until they are golden brown.
  12. In a frying pan, warm 4 tablespoons of mustard oil.
  13. To season the oil, sprinkle in 1 tbsp of cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle for three to four seconds.
  14. Mix in 2 teaspoons of finely diced ginger, 2 teaspoons of finely chopped garlic, and 2 teaspoons of finely chopped green chil;i and sauté for a minute on moderate heat.
  15. Fry a cup of chopped onion. Make sure the onions are golden brown.
  16. Add a cup of diced tomato. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  17. Stir in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of Kashmiri red chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala.
  18. Take some lauki and add the liquid to the pan. Let it simmer for two or three minutes.
  19. Heat the curry to a boil after adding the two cups of water. Put in the kofta and let it simmer for a moment.
  20. Sprinkle a bit of coriander to complete the dish.