Lauki Koftas is a common dish and is prepared in every household. My mom would made lauki kofta once in two weeks and as a kid, I never liked lauki. Back then, just the smell of lauki was enough to make me lose my appetite but now lauki koftas are my favorite … I guess tastes evolve. 🙂 Today I am sharing a healthy version of lauki ke kofte – kofta curry prepared with non fried koftas. Vegetarian lauki/bottle gourd dumplings are tossed in onion-tomato based rich gravy and can be enjoyed with hot chapatis or serve it over bed of hot rice.
Bottle gourd is a blessing in disguise full of nutrients and low in calorie and by frying them we are adding extra calories to them. Prepared with a brush of oil, these koftas are super easy to make and are healthy. I like round koftas and appe pan takes care of that. Just drop a tablespoon of kofta mixture in the appe mold and they will come out round and perfectly brown, so soft and chewy.
Bottle gourd has a high water content and the trick to perfect koftas is to squeeze all that liquid out from the grated lauki . Once all the liquid is removed- 2 cups of grated lauki will look like 3/4 cup of lauki. Add besan and curd – curd is the secret ingredient which keeps the koftas soft. If the mixture is already too watery, please do not add curd to the mixture – skip this part and continue without curd. Adding curd will throw the whole recipe off balance. Shape koftas and either fry them or cook them in appe pan. Set them aside.
Next step would be to prepare the gravy – no onion-tomato masala on hand, follow the recipe here. Cooking time mentioned below is with appe pan koftas and already prepared onion-tomato masala. But if you were to prepare masala from the scratch than cooking time will vary.
DID YOU NOW YOU COULD ADJUST YOUR SERVING SIZE BELOW – CLICK ON 6 TO REDUCE OR INCREASE YOUR SERVING SIZE.
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Vegan lauki/bottle gourd balls tossed in onion-tomato based rich gravy and enjoyed with hot chapatis or serve it over bed of hot rice.
Wash, peel and grate the lauki/bottle gourd. Use the bigger side of the grater to grate the lauki.
Tightly squeeze out all the liquid from the lauki. Do not miss this step or else the whole mixture will become runny and difficult to handle. Transfer it to a big bowl. Add in all the ingredients except curd and mix till blended.
The mixture will be a thick paste. IF YOUR MIXTURE IS WET AND RUNNY add in 1 tablespoon of extra batter and adjust your seasonings. SKIP ADDING CURD.
But if your mixture if thick and tight add curd to it and mix.
After adding in the curd mixture will be all gooey but still thick.
For the appe pan version - Heat appe pan on a medium low heat. Once hot brush it with oil and drop 1 tablespoon batter in each depression. The best part is you don't have to worry about shaping them. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes on one side.
Using its pointed spatula turn them over cover and cook for another 5 minutes till brown in color.
This is how they will look like. Soft and all browned. Set them aside.
Time to shape the koftas. For the frying version - Heat oil in a kadhai. Apply some oil in your palm, take 1 tablespoon batter and roll it in between your palms. They will shape up like a ball. Drop them in hot oil and fry till golden brown.
Fried Koftas are ready.
Assemble all the ingredients. If you don't have the onion tomato masala ready. Follow the link above.
In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds and as they start to sputter stir in onion-tomato masla along with curd and mix.
Mix in all the dry spices one by one and mix till blended.
Saute for 2-3 minutes on a medium low flame. Pour in 3/4 - 1 cup of water - depending on how thick you prefer your gravy. Remember to keep the gravy on the extra side as once the koftas are added to the gravy they will soak up most of the gravy. Bring it to a boil.Once boiled take it off the flame and allow it to cool down.
Using a hand blender puree the gravy.
It will become thick in consistency. Adjust your seasoning and return it to the flame.
Add in the koftas.
Mix and bring it to a boil.
Cover and take it off the flame. Let the koftas soak in hot gravy for 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with cream and chopped cilantro and enjoy with hot chapatis or over rice.