Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lau-er Kofta Curry / Bottle Gourd Kofta Curry / Lauki Kofta

This is one of my favorite recipes and its always been a super impresser with guests. Whenever we have friends coming over who are vegetarian, we do prepare this dish. It takes some time to prepare the koftas, but the curry takes much less time. I have adapted this recipe from Suchismita Aunty. I know her through social media and have not had a chance yet to meet her personally. She is a great cook and all her recipes are really good! I hope to meet her some day and share our common love for food.

Recipe adapted from Suchismita Bandyopadhyay.

For Kofta:
Bottle Gourd - 1
Potato (Big) - 1 (Boiled and Mashed)
Ginger - 1 Tsp (Grated)
Green Chili - According to taste (Finely Chopped)
Gram Flour - 3 Tbsp
Rice Flour - 1 Tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 Tsp
Sugar - 1 Pinch

For Curry:
Ginger - 2 Tbsp (Paste/Grated)
Green Chili - According to taste (Paste/Finely Chopped)
Tomato Paste - 1 Tbsp
Coconut - 1 & 1/2 Tbsp (Grated)
Cashew - 5 Pieces
Milk - 2 Tbsp
Yogurt (Beaten) - 2 Tbsp
Heavy Cream - 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Asfoetida / Hing - 1 Pinch
Water (Lukewarm/Hot)
Cilantro (Chopped) - For Garnish


Peel off the outer skin of bottle gourd. Discard the seeds. Cut the gourd in big slices.
Next grate the gourd. Sprinkle and mix some salt into the grated gourd, this will help the gourd to loose water. Keep aside for about 15 mins.

Squeeze out as much water as possible from the grated gourd. Save the stock for later use.
Knead the gourd, mashed potatoes and other kofta ingredients very well into a dough.

Make medium sized kofta balls from the dough. (With the above ingredients, you should have about 15 koftas)

Heat oil in a kadhai. Once the oil is hot, first lower the flame and then shallow fry the koftas. I prefer to fry koftas in small batches.
Cover the kadhai loosely while frying and allow enough time for the the koftas to cook thoroughly. Turn over the koftas in between.

Finally turn up the flame and fry the koftas for a nice brown crust.
Repeat this process for each batch of koftas.

Blend the coconut, cashew and milk into a smooth paste.
Mix turmeric, chili powder, cumin and coriander powder in warm water to make a thick paste. Keep aside.
Heat oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, hing and temper well.
Next add ginger paste, green chili and mix well.

Add the spice paste, salt and fry until oil oozes out. Take care not to burn the mixture.

Next add tomato paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.
Add the coconut/cashew paste and continue cooking.

Keep adding the gourd stock as you cook. The stock will add flavor to the dish.
Cook on a low flame until there is no more raw smell to it and the stock has cooked properly with the spices.
Add yogurt. Take care to mix this well or else it will curdle.
Add adequate water to keep the curry watery (as koftas will absorb most of it).
Reduce the flame and cook it covered for 5 minutes.
Now add the sugar, heavy cream and mix well. Simmer for another minute.
In a separate pan heat ghee and temper the garam masala in it.
Add the tempered masala to the curry, cover it and turn off the flame.

Add the koftas  in to the curry before serving and simmer it in low flame for couple of minutes. This will prevent koftas from getting soggy.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

For the koftas, you can add grated paneer, carrot and chopped raisins. If you add paneer, then use only 2 Tbsp Gram Flour for the dough.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mango Margarita

Last weekend we were in New Jersey for Arijit Singh's concert. I love almost all his songs, specially the Bengali ones. It is difficult to choose a favorite, but one of my favorite songs by Arijit is

I was very excited that finally we had a chance to see him perform live!
On our way back, we stopped at an Indian grocery store and picked up a crate of mangoes. These were not from India, but they had this sweet aroma, difficult to ignore. Today I used some of them to make Mango Margarita. This is a refreshing drink to end a sunny summer evening.
Hope you will enjoy this too!

(To make one drink)
Mango - 1/2 Cup (Fresh or Canned)
Tequila - 2 Oz
Grand Marnier (Orange flavored liqueur) - 1 Oz
Lime Juice - 1/2 Oz
Sugar Syrup - 1 Oz
Ice Cubes - 1 and 1/2 Cup

For Rimming:
Salt - 1 Tsp
Sugar - 2 Tsp
Chili Powder - 1 Tsp

Mix all the rimming ingredients and spread them thinly on a saucer.
Wet the outer rim of the margarita glass with a fresh lime wedge.
Dab the rim into the saucer.
Add all other ingredients into a blender and blend well.
Pour into the glass.

Type: Margaritas
Glass: Margarita Glass
Strength: Medium