Minus the guilt

How many times have you wanted to eat something but hesitated because you did a mental calculation of the calories going into it, or perhaps, the fat content? We all live with a whole lot of guilt. Yes, it’s true. But surely that doesn’t mean we compromise on what we eat, right? Having tried my hand at diets – the crash & fad ones – a whole lot of other things, I’ve now come to the conclusion that you need you be conscious of what you eat. That’s possibly the best way to do this! It’s not easy, it took me a while to get here, but now I know that as long as I’m in control of my eating habits, things just get a whole lot easier.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to make for a while was koftas. My mum makes some of the most amazing lauki (bottle gourd) & raw banana koftas, & I was going through this phase where I was craving for them. Of course, I didn’t want to deep fry! I didn’t have the patience to shallow fry & steaming them wouldn’t have really worked as the bottle gourd already has high water content. So I did a little bit of jugaad – I cooked them in an appe pan! Yay! It worked.



The gravy is a simple one & you can even use it as a base for chicken or any other vegetable. I always keep the koftas & the gravy separate, mix them only minutes before serving. This dish goes well with rotis but I wouldn’t mind it with some jeera rice either!


Lauki Koftas

For the koftas

250 gms of lauki/ bottle gourd, peeled & grated

1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

1/4 cup of besan/ chick pea flour

Salt to taste



Sprinkle some salt over the grated lauki & keep aside for about 15 minutes. You’ll find that it has released all the water. Squeeze it out & place in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil. Mix well & shape into balls. If you’re lazy like me, you can skip this step.

Heat oil in an appe pan. Drop in spoonfuls of the batter into the cavities. Cover & cook until evenly browned. Keep the koftas aside until you’re ready to serve.


For the gravy

1 onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste

4-5 cashews, soaked in warm water

1/2 tsp anardana / pomegranate seed powder

1/2 tsp of garam masala

1/4 tsp of turmeric

1 green chilli

Salt to taste



Make a paste with the cashews, green chilli & tomatoes.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onions to this & cook until the raw smell goes away. Add the ginger-garlic paste to this & cook until it’s brown & gives a pleasant aroma. Now add the tomato paste to this. Let it simmer for a while.

As it begins to bubble add all the dry spice powders & stir well. If the gravy is too thick then add water to it. Check the seasoning. Turn off the flame when the gravy has been boiling on a medium flame for about 3 minutes.


To serve

Dunk the koftas into the gravy, top with chopped coriander leaves & serve hot


*This recipe is for lauki/bottle gourd but you can also try pumpkin or raw banana or even carrots with this recipe

*I’ve used cashew in the gravy in place of cream. If you want to then you can use cream, else replace with 1 tbsp of curd which needs to be added right at the end, after switching off the flame

*If you don’t have anardana powder, you can add amchur/dry mango powder as well. Instead of that you can also squeeze in some lemon juice

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