1 large bottle gourd
4 new baby potatoes
3 large onions
1 1/2 inch stem fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
7/8 tbsps of chick pea flour
Veg oil for frying
2 tsps cumin seeds
11/2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Put baby potatoes on boil
- Peel bottle gourd and grate, put through a sieve, and retain juice separately. To the drained gourd, add 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of garam masala, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder 8/10 tbsps of chickpea flour, 2 of the boiled and grated new potatoes (they help with the binding). Mix all ingredients into a medium consistency. The mixture should not be hard or solid and should be soft enough to mold into small balls. Tip– when rolling mixture into balls, oil your hands to avoid sticking.
- Peel and chop onions coarsely and put in processor/ blender to bring to medium consistency
- Peel ginger, garlic cloves and chillies and blend until smooth.
- Blend chopped tomatoes into a smooth mixture
- Put sufficient cooking oil into a deep pan, just enough to shallow fry the koftas. Bring oil to medium heat and roll gourd mixture into small balls in your hands and drop into oil. Make sure oil is kept on low/medium heat to allow koftas to cook gently and evenly. If the oil is too hot they will brown quickly and remain raw inside. Take your time to fry in batches and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
- Put 3 to 4 tbsps of oil in a pan, when hot, add remaining cumin seeds, 2 seconds later add the onions and stir until they are luminous and beginning to change colour. Then add ginger, garlic and chillie paste and leave on medium heat. Keep stirring until you get a nice golden brown colour. Stir in some chopped fresh coriander and then the blended tomatoes. Add salt, turmeric and garam masala and keep stirring the mixture until the blended tomatoes are absorbed and the oil separates.
- To this mixture add the 2 remaining grated baby potatoes and sauté until covered in mixture. The potatoes help to thicken the gravy. Then add the juice of the gourd and about one and a half pints of boiled hot water. Bring mixture to boil and then leave to simmer on medium heat for about 5/10 minutes.
- Add the fried koftas to this gravy, bring to the boil and leave to simmer on medium heat until the koftas have absorbed some of the water from the gravy and have grown in size. The gravy should be nice and creamy at this point.
- Tip – once at this stage, refrain from stirring too much to avoid the soft koftas from breaking.
The dish is ready, add some freshly chopped coriander to garnish and enhance the flavour.