Bottle Gourd, Lauki or Dudhi is a staple in our home. We use it in Mukkala Pulusu, Majjiga Pulusu, assorted Aaku Koora Pulusulu (stews made with green leaf vegetables), or then use it in simple curries. One day recently, we got two bottle gourds and so came about the idea of making Lauki Kofta or Dudhi Kofta as we wanted to eat “something different” for dinner!
Lauki Kofta was something my mom made very well and as a treat for us; so we have very fond memories associated with it. 🙂 We did not realise it but we had not made Lauki Kofta since Amma passed away and that was almost 10 years ago.
I am glad we made it this time because it brought back so many memories of working with her in the kitchen.
How to Make Lauki Kofta or Dudhi Kofta
Time: 45 Minutes
- Lauki, Dudhi, or Bottle Gourd – 1 Kg
- Onion – 2 Large
- Tomato – 2 Medium
- Besan or Gram Flour – 3 tbsp
- Green Chilli Paste – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala – 3/4 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Bread Crumbs – 1/4 cup (optional)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to Taste
- Oil for Deep Frying
Method to Make Koftas
- Peel the bottle gourd.
- Cut in half vertically.
- Scoop out the seeds and the fluffy middle section if any.
- Grate the bottle gourd.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt to the grated gourd and mix well.
- Set aside in a colander for 10 minutes so that the water begins to drain. Save the drained water.
- Squeeze the grated bottle gourd hard so that all excess water is drained. Save the drained water.
- To the grated, squeezed bottle gourd, add the besan, bread crumbs, and green chilli paste.
- Mix well and divide into 10-12 equal sized balls. You could flatten the koftas, if you so wish.
- Heat about 1 Cup oil.
- Add a pinch of the gourd mix to the oil to test if it is hot. If the oil is hot enough, the bottle gourd mix will immediately float to the top.
- When the oil is hot enough, deep fry the lauki koftas till golden brown.
- Set aside the koftas.
Method to Make the Gravy
- Peel and chop the onion into 1/2″ pieces.
- Grind the onion pieces into a smooth paste.
- Chop the tomato into 1/2″ pieces.
- Grind the tomato pieces into a smooth puree.
- In a wok or kadai, heat 2 tbsp oil. You can use leftover oil from frying the koftas.
- Add the onion paste and stir-fry till the paste starts to brown.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato puree and stir-fry till the mix till the raw tomato smell/taste disappears.
- Add turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and red chilli powders.
- Mix well and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water squeezed over from the lauki to form a thick gravy.
- Add more water, if required.
- Taste and add salt. Mix well. Remember that the water from the lauki has some salt in it.
- Cook till the gravy starts to simmer.
Putting It All Together
- Just before eating, heat the gravy.
- Add the koftas to gravy.
- Serve immediately with rotis or parathas.
- Do not add the koftas to the gravy till you are ready to eat. They have a tendency to turn soggy.
- Be sure to squeeze as much of the the liquid as possible from the bottle gourd as possible. Otherwise, the koftas will disintegrate when you fry them.
- Bread crumbs are entirely optional. They just add a crunch to the koftas.
- You could also shape the koftas into flat pattices and shallow fry them.