Deep fried, lauki or bottle gourd koftas(fried dumplings)are steeped in a spicy onion tomato gravy. These Cheesy Lauki Koftas are the result of North, South and West fusion recipes and the end result is a knockout dish. Lauki koftas are basically from the traditional cuisine of north India and I stuffed the koftas with cheese which oozes gourmet taste.
Chettinad gravy is the age-old recipe handed down over generations from South India and it is always a winner. A typical Punjabi gravy is like this Rajma I make but this kofta is made in Chettinad masalas,
Health Benefits of Lauki
Lauki or Bottle gourd has always been considered as a healthy vegetable. It is full of water, minerals and keeps the body hydrated. Also known as Doodhi in the north and Sorakaya in my hometown. It is a rich source of calcium, vitamin C and K. It helps in maintaining a healthy heart and brings down bad cholesterol levels. The juice is also beneficial for diabetic patients as it stabilizes the blood sugar level and maintains blood pressure.
Lauki has cooling properties which are good for all of us in India. As it is more than 90% water it is good for weight loss, keeps your heart in check, controls your digestive system and is good for relieving stress.
Lauki Kofte are Tasty
Lauki is not one of my favourite vegetables and I find it very tasteless and boring to cook. But once you make Koftas these deep fried bottle gourd balls floating in a luscious onion tomato gravy become blobs of succulent flavour. And with this decadent Chettinad gravy, they are literally melt-in-the-mouth.
Kofte as a Snack?
While frying the dumplings, I had this sudden urge of eating them as a snack and I tasted one. It was awesome with the cheese oozing out.
Once the kofte was ready, I was confused. Should I eat it with roti as North Indians or rice but the South Indian in me won hands down? I cooked some fruity rice and gobbled it down.
For the koftas, peel and grate the bottle gourd. Sprinkle some salt and squeeze to remove excess water. Add the salt, gram flour, red chilli powder, rice flour, ginger garlic paste, salt, and turmeric and mix well. Divide the mixture into twelve equal portions.
Stuff one piece of cheese into each portion and shape them into round koftas.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep-fry the koftas few at a time until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
Drain on a kitchen towel and set aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the ginger-garlic paste and some cumin and curry leaves. Now add the onions and sauté until light golden brown. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Continue to sauté on moderate heat for one minute, stirring continuously.
Add the tomatoes and two tablespoons water and continue to sauté till the oil surfaces. Cool the masala a bit and blend it in the blender nicely.
Meanwhile prepare the chettinad masala. Dry roast all the spices except coconut in a pan till it leaves an aroma. Add the coconut and roast till the coconut turns light golden. Cool a bit and blitz to a smooth paste in a blender.
Add this ground chettinad masala to the gravy and simmer for few minutes. Add coriander leaves and transfer to a serving bowl.Gently place the koftas in the gravy and serve piping hot with rice or roti.
Add the coriander leaves and mix well. While serving arrange the koftas on the serving plate, pour the gravy over them. Serve garnished with remaining coriander leaves.
1. Reduce the number of chillies if you want the gravy to be less spicy. 2. Cheese stuffed kofta is just an option, not a norm