Bottle Gourd means ‘Lauki’ in Hindi. Lauki Kofta curry is a very delicious North Indian dish. I never liked the taste of lauki (bottle gourd) but the first time I had this dish was at my aunt’s place. The koftas were just melt-in-mouth. I instantly loved the dish but had no idea that it was made of lauki. I couldn’t believe lauki could be so delicious until I had this dish.
The golden brown deep-fried lauki balls are so delicious that today while making them, my husband kept coming into the kitchen to have just one more bite of kofta. It was like a deja vu, I remember my mom never let me enter the kitchen while she’s making this dish because the koftas would enter my tummy even before they entered the gravy. Soft and crispy deep fried lauki balls dipped in tangy tasty onion-tomato spiced gravy. Yum!!
Cooking time: 45 mins
1½ cup bottle gourd (lauki), grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 green chilies, finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp coriander leaves
8 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1½ tsp salt, or adjust as per taste
1 inch piece ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 green chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhane)
½ tsp black pepper powder (miri)
2 cloves (lavang)
2 tbsp oil
2 bay leaf (tamalpatra), medium size
2 onion, medium size, roughly chopped and pureed
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp coriander-cumin powder (dhane-jeera)
½ tsp garam masala, or adjust as per spice tolerance
½ tsp salt, or adjust as per taste
Coriander leaves, for garnish
1. Cut, peel and grate lauki. Squeeze out the water completely and discard it.
2. Take lauki in a bowl. Add ginger paste, garlic paste, finely chopped onion, green chilies, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, gram flour and salt. Mix everything together (thick consistency) and make oval shaped balls.
3. Heat oil on medium heat, in a deep frying pan or fryer. When the oil is hot, drop the lauki balls into the fryer. Deep fry until crisp and golden brown in color.
4. Once crispy, using a slotted spoon, lift the golden ball, drain the oil and remove them on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Keep aside.
1. Take tomatoes in a container with a lid and microwave for 3-4 mins, warm enough until the tomatoes are tender (microwaving the tomatoes makes it easier to puree tomato skins easily). Transfer into a mixer-grinder, keep aside to cool. Then add ginger, garlic, green chilies, coriander seeds, black pepper powder and cloves to the mixer-grinder. Puree them together until smooth. Remove into a bowl and keep aside.
2. Take roughly chopped onions into the mixer-grinder and puree into a fine paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add bay leaf and let it sizzle.
4. Pour the onion paste into the pan and saute for 5 mins or until it turns light pink in color.
5. Then add the tomato puree into the pan and saute for 10 mins.
6. Add turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and saute for 1 min.
7. Then add 1½ cup water, mix well and bring the gravy to a boil.
8. Add fried kofta balls to the gravy. Gently mix and cook the gravy further for 1 min.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
spoonful O’ tips
1. Instead of discarding all of the (squeezed) bottle gourd water, a little water can be used for making the gravy. Make sure to use it sparingly because too much of the bottle gourd water tends to make the gravy very bitter.
2. While making the kofta mixture, if the mixture is too watery then add more gram flour to bring it to a thick consistency.
3. Immediately fry the lauki mixture balls, because lauki releases water if kept aside for long and will make the mixture soggy.
4. Deep fry koftas on medium flame. If the koftas are fried on high flame then they will get burnt from the outside but will remain uncooked on inside.
5. Add the koftas to the curry just before serving or else the kofta will get absorb the curry and will get soggy.