Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dudhi Kofta Curry - It's different!

I clearly remember when I made this curry for the first time. It was my 10th vacation and I decided to cook something all by myself.  I browsed through mom's Ruchira and thought of making Dudhi Kofta curry. I checked the ingredients and everything was available at home. While following the recipe blindly, all along, I thought I was making Malai Kofta as kofta for me was always malai kofta from the restaurant. It didn't even occur to me that the recipe didn't even have malai or any other ingredients that make Malai Kofta. Yeah, I was all of 15! When the curry was ready, a delicious aroma wafted through the kitchen. I was happy. When my family arrived from work, mom was shocked to see my escapade. Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly, as it had come out really well. Every one, except me was happy. Though it tasted great, for me it was a disaster. After all, I was supposed to be making malai kofta and what I had made didn't even taste or looked like one. Now, it tasted great, but that's another story. The credit for that delicious taste goes to Mrs. Kamlabai Ogale of Ruchira.

Many years later, I prefer making this version than calorie and fat laden Malai kofta. The only difference is that I no longer look at Ruchira for reference. When I made this dish last time, I just threw some basic ingredients from my Maharashtrian pantry together. I am sure the recipe is quite close to Mrs. Ogale's original recipe.

Dudhi Kofta Curry
Bottle Gourd Fritters Curry

For making Koftas (10-12)
1 small dudhi/bottlegourd, peeled & grated, squeeze to drain out water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
2 tbsp minced cilantro
3-4 green chilies or per desired heat, minced
salt to taste

You will also need
1/4 cup daaNyache KooT/Roasted, unsalted peanut powder
1/2 tbsp jaggery
water as needed
Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tbsp goda masala
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp paprika or mild chili powder

1 tbsp minced cilantro

1. Squeeze out water from dudhi and mix with besan, salt, cilantro, chilies, turmeric powder. Make a thick dough and steam till they are cooked. Alternatively, you can deep fry these dudhi fritters and set aside to drain.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and sesame seeds.
3. As they splutter, add onion and ginger garlic paste. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Add tomatoes, goda masala and paprika. Saute for about 5 minutes.
5. Now add water, salt, jaggery and peanut powder. Bring to boil. Switch gas to low. Let it simmer.
6. Place koftas slowly into the simmering curry.
7. Simmer for few more minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

1. In order to save some calories, I steam the koftas or sometimes use appe pan to shallow fry. But originally, these are fritters which are meant to be deep fried.
2. Adjust the amount of besan and salt, depending on the size of the bottle gourd. Make around 10-12 koftas for this recipe.
3. If you have a big bottle gourd, adjust the chickpea flour and other ingredients. Make koftas and freeze all the remaining koftas for future use.
4. Dudhi Muthiyas can also be substituted in this recipe.

Recipe Credit
Ruchira by Kamalabai Ogale
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