2 cups grated Lauki – almost a kg
2 tbsp gram flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp red chili powder, garam masala each
A generous pinch of Heeng ( asafoetida)
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp Cornflour – optional, only to be used if you are deep frying the balls and not
1 tbsp sesame seeds – optional
Oil for frying
¼ cup yogurt + 1 tsp of corn flour
4 medium tomatoes – chopped roughly
2 medium Onions – chopped small
4-5 garlic pods, minced or made into paste
1 piece of ginger- grated or chopped as per your liking
2-3 red chilies
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2-3 cardamom pods, crushed
A pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon each
1-2 bay leaves
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Squeeze the juice out of Lauki and keep it aside, we will use this same water in the gravy preparation.
Now mix all the ingredients given above in the “Kofte” list except Sesame seeds and Salt and mix well. Add salt at the end, else the mixture will release water very soon.
Make small equal sized balls out of the mixture and roll them over sesame seeds(optional).
Heat oil in a wok if you are deep frying the balls and test the temperature by frying a small ball. Deep fry all the balls on low-medium temperature till the outer shell turns brown. Keep them on a kitchen towel to soak extra oil.
If you are frying them in a paniyaram/ appam pan, then just use the method as you do with the usual appams and keep aside.This way the balls will take more time to get cooked, and will not be as crunchy and when they are fried deep. But since they have to go into the gravy any way to get all soaked.
Heat oil in a pan, throw cardamom pods, bay leaves, dried red chilies and cumin seeds together and fry for half a minute.
Add in minced garlic, ginger, chopped tomatoes and onion and add salt, cinnamon and nutmeg ( if using ) to it. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes on medium flame stirring in between
Tomatoes should be really mushy and mixed up by now, if the gravy is getting dry add some water to it till tomatoes get all mashed up into a thick gravy. You may use the same water which we squeezed out from bottle guard. Now add the yogurt- cornflour mix into it and simmer for next 4-5 minutes, don’t increase the flame at this point and keep stirring in between When the masala is all done, add cups of water ( including the one we squeezed out ) and let it come to a boiling point on a medium flame. Turn off the flame, add koftas balls into the gravy and cover it up. Garnish with garam masala or coriander leaves just before serving.
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