Healthy Non fried Kofta Curry / Bottle Gourd Dumplings in Tangy Yoghurt Coriander Gravy

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.

Coriander Yoghurt gravy

Coriander Yoghurt gravy

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.

Bottle Gourd, Carrot, Onion Dumplings. Can be eaten as it is.

Bottle Gourd, Carrot, Onion Dumplings. Can be eaten as it is.

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.

Perfect with thin soft chappathis

Perfect with thin soft chappathis



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.

Healthy, non fried and delicious!

Healthy, non fried and delicious!

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.

Cooked to golden perfection

Cooked to golden perfection

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.

Healthy Side dish to Indian Flat bread

Healthy Side dish to Indian Flat bread

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. 🙂


22 thoughts on “Healthy Non fried Kofta Curry / Bottle Gourd Dumplings in Tangy Yoghurt Coriander Gravy

  1. I always make the fried version. To use an appe plate is an awesome idea. I am surely going to dry cook my dumplings(as you call them 😉 ) next time I make kofte ki sabzi. Loving your blog!!

  2. Genius! I tried baked lauki kofta once and it was a disaster – they just fell apart. Your idea of slow roasting is brilliant! The next lauki I get will turn into this! 🙂

    • You have to eye ball the quantity of gram flour, if the batter is too too limp, add some besan or even crushed bread or a boiled potato. And slow roasting helps. 🙂

    • Yes, I think everyone should invest in a plate of this kind… gives way to non fried and easy cooking.. We have made mashed potato-bread and minced veggie koftas…. and they have turned out excellent…. I can easily say better than bottle gourd…:) but bottle gourd is ofcourse healthier than potato..:D
      Do buy and try the varied options.

  3. Bookmarked! Genius you’re Namrata! Amazing recipe! I love koftas but refrain from making it as they have to be deep-fried.
    Trying this the first chance I get! Mostly tomorrow! 😉

      • Really! am so happy it turned out well.. another feed back frm my sister was that the koftas split…so, I am relieved that urs were good 🙂

      • I don’t have the pan you have so I just pan-fried them in 1 Tbsp oil on my non-stick griddle & they were beautiful! No problem of splitting for me.. So I would give it a thumbs up! 🙂

        *There was little bit of liquid oozing out of bottle-gourd which I simply discarded.

  4. So many yummy vegetarian recipes…
    I hope you try vegan recipes , which is great for our health…
    I love visiting the blog vegan india, which is exposing the cruel condition of milk producing cows in India…

    Blog: global vegan fare

  5. Loved it. I posted the baked kofta recipe sometime back. Now I have to buy this mould for sure:). The yogurt gravy is an awesome twist on the normal traditional one.. Loved the presentation:).
    I am quizzed as to how I missed this post of yours and was thinking of you today.. As to where did you vanish :)?

  6. Did you squeeze the water from veggies? Can u pls explain more about the batter consistency? Was it liquidy like aape batter with all the batter from veggies?

    • Hi. I did squeeze some water from the veggies but not much. The batter is not really a flowy consistency. In fact it is quite thick, thicker than a dosa batter. More like a flowy chappathi aatta. I hope you understand. Its a case of trial and error anyways. I made it quite a few times before I finally got it right.

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