I simply love having koftas. Whenever delicious koftas are being served, I always pamper myself by taking second or at times even third helping. At home, whenever mom would prepare lauki koftas, I could smell them from outside and dashed to the kitchen as I enjoy to have them like fritters as well!
My love for koftas can be guessed from this incident that happened few years ago...
I had recently got married and kitchen by then, was still my MIL's den. One day, when I returned from office, the aroma of Lauki koftas being deep fried had filled up the house. However, being a new daughter in law in the house, I felt a bit awkward to ask for the koftas to be eaten as fritters. After preparing the koftas, MIL asked me to keep them on the table, as there was still time for dinner and she thought of preparing the gravy later. With the bowlful of delicious Lauki koftas, I advanced towards the table however, me being the shameless foodie, couldn't resist the temptation. Since the bowl had many koftas, I thought who would come to know if I had one or two koftas? So, I quickly gobbled up 2-3 koftas and went about my business, as usual. However, after half an hour, my tummy began to ache profusely. Unable to control, I ran to my MIL who was also troubled to see me in pain. It was but natural for her to ask what all I had that day, since I was perfectly normal when I returned from office. Well, I had to reveal then, that I gobbled up few koftas from the bowl. MIL gave a hearty laugh and told me that she had semi fried the koftas as she thought she will fry them once more before adding to the gravy! In a hurry to eat before anyone could catch me, I ate koftas that were raw from inside!
Well, now I mostly refrain from gorging on koftas the reason being, they are deep fried. Sacrifices one has to make when the waistline goes out of control!
But, few days ago I learnt from a Facebook group how to enjoy the koftas guilt free! Yes, c'est possible!
So, sharing the recipe of my healthy Lauki Koftas
Lauki/Gheeya/Bottle Guard - 1 small, grated
Sattu/Roasted gram flour - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Carrom seeds/Ajwain - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp (for kofta) + 1 tsp (for gravy)
Asafoetida Powder - 1/4 tsp (for kofta) + 1/4 tsp (for gravy)
Oil - 1 tbsp (kofta) + 1 tbsp (gravy)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5, chopped
Black peppercorns - 2-3
Bayleaf - 2 small or 1 large
Cloves - 2
Onion - 1 medium, blended into a fine paste
Tomato - 1 large, pureed
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Homemade malai - 1 tbsp
1. In a bowl, take the grated lauki. Ensure to squeeze out the water completely from the grated lauki, else it will be impossible to bind together the koftas. I don't throw this water coz it is very healthy. Instead, I use it while preparing the gravy for the koftas.
2. Add the sattu powder as it will help bind the batter. I avoid cornflour powder and use sattu powder extensively in cooking as it is very healthy and gives a nice flavour as well. Also add carrom seeds, coriander powder, asafoetida powder and mix very well.
3. Shape the mixture into small laddoo sized balls.
4. Heat the appe pan/Paniyarakkal and add few drops oil to each cavity.
5. Add a kofta each to each cavity. Cover and cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
6. Change size and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Do not cover if you want the koftas to turn out crispy and like to munch on them as pakodas.
7. Flip and cook on low flame till the koftas are cooked well from all sides.
Koftas are ready!
For the Gravy
1. Heat oil in a kadai. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, black peppercorns, bayleaf and cloves (I forgot the peppercorns, bayleaf and cloves so added them later).
2. Add the onion paste. If you have time, brown onion paste would add more flavour however, I was running short of time so I decided to go for the regular onion paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame till the onion paste turns golden brown.
3. Add the tomato puree. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder (I didn't as my children don't eat chillies yet)) and some salt. Mix well and cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes or till the mixture starts leaving oil on sides.
4. Add water from the grated lauki and give the gravy a nice boil.
5. Add some fresh homemade malai and mix well. Keep stirring.
6. Add the koftas to the gravy.
Enjoy low oil healthy Lauki Koftas!