I had lauki/bottle gourd in my fridge over a couple of days now.Usually I like to make Lao Diye Moonge’er dal or dal with Bottle gourd chunks .But this time I thought why not try making lauki ke kofta curry.Here comes the memory part that I was talking about.
I was visiting my grandparents home ,cant recall which year it was to be precise,I guess I was in college then .Grandfather( I used to call him “Dadna” fondly) had passed away,although his presence was very eminent in every day –to –day dealings .My grandmother , was a very simple and homely cook , but she usually had the nack of picking good things or should I say good recipes from where ever it was possible.She had made some north Indian friends with whom she would converse in broken Hindi.She would often convert her drinking tea to eating tea while trying to convert her Bengali to Hindi ..or sometimes even weird gramatical mistakes(that includes gender confusions).But the most important part was that her friends never bothered to correct or complained her.She had become a non-separable part of their lives as well.Anyways , she perhaps got this one from one of them , but twisted it to make it more suitable according to a Bengali homly cooking.
Her kofta’s would turn out very soft , but it would not get deshaped while cooking or serving , all intact and the flavours were sealed inside every koftas .Gravy would turn out very thick and creamy also.I wished, I would have asked her recipe in detail or rather helped her making up this lip-smacking recipe ,but back then I was not too much into cooking.
While eating the kofta curry with roti,she gave me a rough idea of making the lao ‘er kofta and also the gravy at the dinning table that day.Keeping in mind that rough idea,here I tried to improvise the recipe as the koftas are usually made with besan/chick pea flour , but I was running short of it at the time of making.
Laziz lauki Kofta Curry-
For the Kofta
Lauki -2 medium size, skin removed and grated
5-7 tbs of self rising flour/gram flour(besan)
½ tsp of salt
1-2 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1-2 tsp of cumin powder
1-2 tsp of coriander powder
4-5 tbs of oil for frying the kofta's
Grate the Bottle gourd, and squeese out the water.You may like to use this water while making the gravy for Kofta’s.Mix all and make a smooth dough.
TIP--These are delicious and makes a lovely accompaniment with Pita Bread or rotis.Just fry them and stuff them in Pita pockets or roll in rotis or parathas.
For the Gravy
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
2 tbs of cashews/peanuts
3/4 cup of milk
2 medium size onions
1-2 inch ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1-3 tsp of red pepper powder(depends on how much you can handle hotness)
1 tsp of garam masala
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
Grind all the above in a food processor to a smooth paste except the milk which you will be adding later.
Take the skin out with Potato Peeler and grate the bottle gourd, sqeeze the excess water with the help of your palms.Keep aside this water for the gravy you will prepare later.Mix in flour( you may use besan/gram flour in place of self rising flour), cumin,coriander,turmeric,red pepper powder and salt.Knead to a semi soft dough.Roll out small rounds from it.This above mixture made approx 12 Koftas.
Now heat up a kadai, add oil and fry these koftas well.If you feel roll each kofta over some flour before frying.This makes the koftas fry well in oil.
Now heat up another saucepan, add oil .Add the masala paste you prepared for the gravy.
Keep on stir/fry the paste for 5-7 mints at med-low.
Now add in the water which you have kept for gravy that you collected while sqeezing the grated bottle gourd.This way the nutrients are not lost.
Add in half cup to ¾ cup of milk + 1/4 cup of water, lower the flame and cook/simmer at low , uncovered.(If you want the gravy to be little thin , add some more water) .One thing should be kept in mind , Koftas absorbs the gravy like anything , so its better to add enough water in the gravy initially.
TIP--What I have done , I have kept half of the gravy separate and submerged the koftas in half of the gravy in serving bowl.This way when we were ready to eat , I reheated the separate gravy and added this hot gravy to the serving bowl with koftas +half of the gravy.We had lauki kofta curry for our dinner.This was a nice change to a usual moong dal with bottle gourd.
Link of the week-Her recipes always make me drool, Shn at Mishmash(http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com/) is a great place to know more about Kerela Cuisine and peek into a daily life of a typical Keralite home.I have tried her (http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com/2008/08/malabar-style-chemmeenprawn-biryani.html) recipe and there are plenty of them on my list now.Visit her lovely place full of memories and cultural amalgamation.