Lauki ka kofta aur Kashmiri puri/ Bottle gourd balls in spicy tomato gravy and Deep fried Flat bread

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If you visit Indian restaurant outside India, you will find North Indian recipes like malai Kofta , palak paneer, saag paneer, chana masala etc in their vegetarian menu. Usually kofta are made of paneer/cottage cheese, and vegetables for veggie version and chicken and lamb for non-veggie version. The word Kofta is originated from Persian means, beat/grind/ meat ball. Along with chicken tikka / Paneer tikka masala , Tandoori chicken and so on are the other dishes in their menu.
If I feel like eating something I would have to make it, as we rarely enjoy food from restaurants. I do go out to eat at fast food joints where I would get a takeout veggie burger or a taco with beans. It is really hard to handle a 15 month old who wants to explore, all taste, looks and touch of everything. She makes me crazy and gives me all the happiness in the world with a single innocent smile.

Last week my hubby’s friend at work gave him a big Lauki/ bottle gourd from her vegetable garden. I am not a fan of Lauki/bottle gourd, because it a mundane vegetable that has no taste of its own, but if you add some spices or other veggie combo it gives out good flavors. While growing up, amma rarely bought lauki/bottle gourd and when she did she made curry with them. Last time when he got a lauki, I tried my usual stir fry style curry it doesn’t have much appeal from my taste tester. So I thought I will make some halwa with them. Then again I got a no from my hubby. So I decided to try Kofta with lauki/bottle gourd, earlier, I have made Kofta with cabbage and zucchini. We liked both the dishes, so it was okay to give a try with Lauki. 

The bottle gourd/lauki belongs to cucumber family; the tender one is consumed as vegetables and mature ones are used to make utensil or music instruments. It was cultivated for making utensil than as vegetable in the past, read more about them from here. It has high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, magnesium and manganese. It also contains moderate amount of vitamin-B complex. Due to its high water content, it is thirst quencher. Read more health benefits bottle gourd from here and here.

Last week I took a book of 660 curries by Raghavan Iyer, from the library. It is a good book, and I liked the all spice mix recipe he has given in that book. I need to compare the difference between his garam masala recipes stated to be from various states in India. While turning some pages I found the lauki ka kofta and Al Yakhini recipe both made with bottle gourd. So I decide to give a try. I used his kofta recipe and added little bit ajwan/ Carom seeds and baking soda. Where as sauce is mine with more spices than his version. 

To go with lauki ka kofta I decide to make Kashmiri puri, recipe which I got from Chef Sanjeev kapoor’s website. I got hooked to this recipe, because it uses yogurt and my new found cooking sensation yeast. Furthermore, for me Kashmiri cuisine is one of the unchartered territories. However, I ended up modifying the puri/ poori recipe and got somewhat similar recipe that of Kashmiri roti, due to use of whole wheat flour. I didn’t use sugar and was unable to smear the yogurt, saffron mixture in poori before frying them. I was pleased by the job did by yeast. Puri’s are soft and puffed without drinking a bit of oil. The inside was hollow. It changed my outlook towards poori. For me poori’s are always oil drinking puffed tasty ones.
These two combinations are wonderful, grand dinner or lunch dishes, if you get some time try this one. You will be happy with the end result. Here goes the recipe. 

What you need

 For kofta
Bottle gourd/Lauki/Doohi: 2 cup (Peeled, seeded and grated)
Onion: 1 cup
Ginger: 1 inch
Garlic: 3 cloves
Cashews: 10 no
Baking Soda: 1/8 teaspoon
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Ajwan/carom: 1/8 teaspoon
Besan/Chickpea flour: ¼ cup
Rice flour: 2 tablespoon
Green chili: 1 no (I used Serrano pepper)
Red chili powder: ¼ teaspoon
Coriander leaves: 2 tablespoon (chopped finely)
Oil: 4 cups for frying

For sauce

Oil: 2 tablespoon (I used olive oil)
Ginger: 1 inch
Garlic: 3 cloves
Fennel: ½ teaspoon
Cumin: ½ teaspoon
Cloves: 3 nos
Cinnamon: 1 inch (2 pieces)
Cardamom: 3 no
Bay leaf: 1 no
Mace: ¼ teaspoon
Cashews: 10 no
Red Onion: 1 no
Green chilies: 1 no
Tomato: 4 no
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Red chili powder: ¼ teaspoon
Garam masala: ½ teaspoon
Cumin powder: ½ teaspoon
Coriander powder: ½ teaspoon
Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon
Poppy seeds: ½ teaspoon
Ghee/clarified butter: 2 tablespoon
Heavy cream: 2 tablespoon
Water: 2 cup

For Kashmiri puri/poori

Whole wheat flour : 2 cup
Fennel seeds/saunf: 1 teaspoon
Yeast: ½ teaspoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Milk: ½ cup
Oil: 4 cups for frying.

How I made


Peel the skin of bottle gourd and remove the fluffy middle parts with seeds, after that it will look like a boat. Grate using a vegetable grater let it stand in a colander for 30 minutes with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bottle gourd will drain the juice; collect the juice if you want uses it into the gravy replacing the amount of water. After 30 minutes, squeeze the bottle gourd tightly so that all the water from bottle gourd will be drained as much possible.
While bottle gourd is in the colander, add onion, cashews, green chilies, ginger and garlic to a bowl of food processor/chopper, pulse it 2 or 3 times, so that you get a coarse paste. Add red chili powder and mix well and set aside.
In a bowl add besan, rice flour, baking soda, and ajwan and mix well and set aside. To this add onion cashews red chili mixture, chopped coriander leaves and grated bottle gourd or lauki. Mix everything to form smooth dough. 
Heat oil in sauce pan and when it reaches 375 F, pinch a small lemon sized bottle gourd besan dough and gradually drop it into hot oil. Cook for 1 ½ minutes or until it turns to golden brown in color, flip it and cook the other side also for another 1 ½ minutes. Cook them in small batches of 4-5 koftas. Drain them using a slotted spoon into a paper towel to remove excess oil. Set aside.
For Sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauce pan, add cinnamon, cloves, mace, cardamom, cumin and fennel seeds. When cumin and fennel seeds starts spluttering, add onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies fry them till onions become translucent or change color. Add chopped tomatoes to this mixture and cook till they become tender and soft. It takes about 9 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Grind the onion-tomato-ginger garlic mixture along with cashews and poppy seeds to thick paste adding less amount of water.
Heat the rest of oil and ghee/clarified butter in a pan and add the ground paste of onion-tomato-cashew–ginger-garlic. Cook the gravy with turmeric, bay leaf, garam masala, chili, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and water for 5 minutes. Now add heavy cream and simmer for another 3 minutes or until the gravy reaches desired consistency. Switch of the flame.
When you are ready to serve add kofta in sauce and garnish with chopped coriander.

For Kashmiri poori

In a large bowl sift together, wheat flour and salt and set aside. To this add yeast, ghee and fennel seeds and mix well and set aside. 
Gradually add milk and water to wheat flour-fennel seeds-yeast salt mixture to form smooth dough. Knead well for fifteen minutes until the dough become soft and shiny. Keep the dough in bowl coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap of damp cloth for four to six hours or overnight. (I kept it in refrigerator for overnight. Bring it to room temperature and set aside for another 2 hours before you make the puri). Divide the dough into 15 small golf sized balls. Roll out each ball into a four-inch diameter round puri and set aside.
Heat oil in thick bottomed pan when it reaches 375 F, fry one puri at a time until they puff up well and become golden brown color on both sides. Using slotted spoon drain them into a paper towel 
Serve hot with kofta curry. Enjoy.
 Crust and inside of Puri

Preparation time:
For kofta: 1 hour, Sauce: 25minutes, Kashmiri puri/poori: Overnight for doubling+ 1hour and 25 minutes
Yield: Kofta,14 no Puri/pooi: 15 no. Sauce : 6 serving
Verdict: Tasty
Will you make again: Yes I will


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  1. says

    The poori sounds really interesting. I prefer to make my koftas either steam cooked or in very low oil in the appam pan, u can check out both the versions in my blog if u r interested anytime.

  2. says

    Dear Swathi you shared a wonderful combo platter…Lauki kofta is new to me….surely bookmarking it,…..have to make it soon…

  3. says

    WOW…just speechless here..they look incredible..loved your detailed step by step pictorial and instruction..awesome..I have to try this now…thanks for sharing this dear.

  4. says

    I need to try it for sure, you have a very beautiful super elaborate way of explaining every step, plus so many gorgeous photos- so much work and love you put in your blog…keep it up!

  5. says

    This looks so tasty Swati! I love any kind of kofta! I am not a lauki fan, but I know I will love this :) The puris looks delicious as well!

  6. says

    Oh wow, is this amazing! This is better than anything I could order when I eat out — I need to learn how to make it! You should open your own restaurant! :)

  7. says

    I’ve had kofta so many times and I love it! I had no idea it comes from gourd. I actually never knew what gourd was until now.

    I love that first photo by the way. It looks delicious.

  8. says

    So it’s like a meatball without meat? Sign me up, sounds tasty! I suppose you could substitute with summer squash as well, right?

  9. says

    Faith, I am dreaming about opening a restaurant,I will be dream as always.

    Marissa, You can try this recipe with Zucchini or any other summer squash.