There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage – Martin Luther.
Martin Luther definitely got the essence of any good marriage right in those words above. What better defines a wedding than a companionship, isn’t it ? A life long commitment, a whole heart for a whole life (as I read somewhere), two souls coming together in holy matrimony ! A wonderful feeling to last a lifetime J But, hey hold your horses. In case you think I have switched careers (or hobby if you prefer) from cooking food to cooking up stories on matrimony, its not so. We at Blogging Marathon celebrate a virtual wedding shower for our dear friend Aarthi who is to be wedded later this fortnight !
And what better way than to pick and choose a dish from her blog, and recreate it as a celebration J Aarthi, this is for you dear – and wishing you every happiness in the days ahead J I was literally stumped when I had to choose from a wide array of dishes that Aarthi has managed to churn out – its like a huge menu card with its array of dishes from several cuisines. I finally managed to pick out Malai Kofta from her blog, and started to make the same. As luck would have it, the omnipresent ingredient in my freezer – Paneer – ran out. Perhaps, to make way for these delicious Low fat bottlegourd Koftas that turned out yummy ! And there was no telling how wonderful they tasted with hot Phulkas right out of the stove .
I pretty much followed her recipe, making tweaks here and there for a low fat version ! Which also qualifies this dish to go straight to the event that I am hosting all May – Fast Food not Fat Food and also to Ramya's ABC Series-Gourds..
So, lets get to the recipe:
Prep time : 15 mins
Cook time : 30 mins
Serves – 4
Difficulty level : Medium
- Bottlegourd – 1 fairly large
- Besan / chickpea flour – 4 TBSP
- Onions –1 medium
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric – ½ tsp
- Oil – 4 TBSP
- Coriander & Lemon juice (1 tsp) – for garnish
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1½ tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 TBSP
- Cumin powder – ½ TBSP
- Garam Masala powder – 1 TBSP
- Amchur / dry mango powder – ½ TBSP
- Pepper powder – ½ tsp
For the spicy gravy:
- Onions – 2 medium
- Tomatoes – 2 large (ripe)
- Garlic – 2 pods
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Cinnamon – ½ inch stick
- Elaichi / Cardamom – ½ tsp
- Oil – 2 TBSP
1) Wash and peel bottlegourd. Grate finely. Leave for few mins. Taking handfuls of the vegetable, squeeze out the water tightly. Again leave for 3-4 mins. Squeeze again. Repeat for the third time. The grated vegetable should be almost dry to the touch.
2) In a large bowl, mix the grated bottle gourd. Add chickpea flour (besan), salt, half of the dry masala powders (red chilly / pepper/ garam masala / coriander powder / cumin powder, turmeric, amchur), coriander leaves and mix into thickish dough. Do not add any water (unless you use ½ tsp or less for binding – the salt will provide enough moisture).
3) Make equal portions of this dough and keep covered for 2 -3 mins.
4) Heat a paniyaram pan (you can also deep fry the balls, but I didn’t). Line the pan with a film of oil. Place the bottle gourd balls and fry them on medium-high flame for 4 – 6 mins till they turn golden brown on all sides. Drizzle a little more oil to help them cook faster.
5) Drain all the koftas made this way on a paper towel.
To make the gravy:
1) In a pan, heat 2 TBSP of oil. Saute chopped garlic, ginger, chopped onions and tomatoes for 3 – 5 mins. Cool and dry them with the rest of the masala spice paste (indicated above).
2) In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil. Splutter cumin. When done, add the rest of the chopped onions and sauté lightly. Now add the ground masala and cook for 3 -4 mins. Add the rest of the dry masala powders, salt, turmeric and fry again for 7 -8 mins till the oil separates.
3) You may add a cup or two of water to get a fairly large amount of thickish gravy. While the gravy simmers, gently add in the koftas and Cook covered for 3 mins till the koftas absorb some of the flavours of the gravy. To make this a richer dish, finish with cream just before you take it off the fire.
Transfer to serving dish. Finish with lemon juice and coriander leaves. Serve hot with Rotis / Naan / Phulkas. You may also place two koftas per serving and pour the gravy onto them just before serving.