Bottle gourd-carrot dumplings in a coriander yoghurt gravy. Um… sounds interesting? Well.. don’t ask how I came up with this combination. I took my experiments a little far this time. Tried a hotch potch version of things we like and eliminated what we don’t care of, and here! this tangy flavorful curry was born.
A straight simple bottle gourd sabzi(side dish to Indian bread) is refused with much vehemence from the members of my family. Traditional koftas(dumplings) are usually deep fried, and that too is shunned from the dining table. I want my family to eat this wonderful squash. It is healthy, light and easy to digest.
Ok, I somehow find a way to avoid the oil. But an onion tomato gravy sans cashews and cream is no fun to eat. Sigh! What do I do??
Rummage the refrigerator and wait for the sluggish mind to swing right back into action.
I have a whole pot of yoghurt and more than extra coriander leaves awaiting their turn. Yep.. You guessed it right… no rocket science. Perking up, I combine the two to produce a fabulous green creamy(but not fattening) gravy to dunk my dumplings in! But truthfully, I was highly skeptical of the result. Yoghurt curries can be little tricky if not careful. They tend to tear/fall apart if not blended vigorously well.
For the Koftas/Dumplings:
- 1 cup grated bottle gourd
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1 big onion minced
- 1 green chili, minced
- salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder according to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 3-4 tbsp bengal gram flour/Besan
- 1 tsp oil
For the Gravy:
- 2 cups well beaten curds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp crushed kasuri methi
- 1 tsp ghee or butter
- Cream to garnish – optional
Grind into a paste:
- 1 1/2 cups coriander leaves
- 2 medium sized onions
- 2 green chilies or according to taste
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- a tiny piece of ginger
- 2 tsp poppy seeds, soaked
- a small piece of cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 1 cardamom
Combine all the kofta ingredients except the oil. The dough/batter will be sticky and soft. I used a paniyaram plate but you could use a flat non stick griddle or a pan. Using very little oil, make small dumplings/balls and slow roast taking care to turn at regular intervals and cook till golden brown.
I covered the paniyaram plate, so that the koftas would cook from deep within using its own heat. Till the koftas cook, prepare the gravy.
Heat ghee/butter in wok. Splutter cumin seeds. Fry the onion-coriander paste. Once done(after about 10 minutes or so), add the well beaten curds and quickly stir/mix, till well incorporated. Keep mixing vigorously taking care that the curds does not split. You will notice the paste and the yoghurt forming one cohesive mix. At this stage, you could relax and let it simmer on its own for awhile. Stir in crushed kasuri methi. If you find the gravy too thick, pour in some water. Boil for a couple of minutes.
Dunk the koftas just before serving, else they suck the water content of the gravy rendering it dry and thick.
Garnish with cream. Serve hot with hot thin chappathis.
Note: The koftas can be eaten as it is. They are like tiny round cutlets. Best enjoyed with tomato ketchup and green chutney.
Note: If you use kitchen king masala, feel free to add a tsp or so with the yoghurt.
Note: The koftas can be made with a host of different veggies. My bet is on mashed potato-peas and paneer. Even bread-minced veggies-boiled potato would be a crowd pleaser.
Note: If you are making the koftas on a flat griddle or tawa, then you could pat them to make little oblong cutlets, so that they cook well within. A round spherical shape will not cook uniformly on a flat tawa/griddle.
Note: A paniyaram plate is a perfect use when you don’t want to fry your food.
Note: If by any chance you have pre made the gravy and stored it, you might want to add in little bit of water/milk while reheating it, to thin the consistency.
Note: It’s very difficult to win with koftas where husband is concerned. This gravy passed his acid test. It is healthy, nutritious, not fried and yet so tasty. So yea, one more recipe to keep and file away. 🙂