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Recipes | Steamed Bottle gourd Koftas in Spicy Yogurt Curry – A Moment That Lasted an Eternity

17 October 2012 20 Comments

Bottle gourd koftas in yogurt gravy

A moment that lasted an eternity.….It was a weekday when I got a call from the talented & inspiring co-author of two wonderful cook books Mrs. Pratibha Jain.  She invited me to be on the panel of judges along with some of the industry bigwigs and renowned chefs for a culinary event. The event is being conducted by a group of enthusiastic youngsters from Rajasthan in India, who are working towards many social causes in the city. I received my formal e-card invitation from the organizers and was given a warm welcome by Navaneet the ladies wing chairman of RYA Metro and other members of the group.

Judging a culinary show

1/4th of the two large banquet halls…pic courtesy RYA Metro

Judging a culinary show

From table-to-table…pic courtesy RYA Metro

The venue was beautifully decorated with two large banquet halls for the 100 plus contestants. The judges were given separate I-pads to record the scores based on a couple of criteria such as creativity, taste, presentation, confidence and knowledge of the contestants.

And what a bundle of talent these young ladies exhibited to showcase their skills in salad round, most of whom were in their early 20’s! They knew what goes in to make a perfect vinaigrette, I doubt I can even match their talent of carving the veggies so perfectly.

There were edible boats made with Dates puree and filled with salad, Broccoli Mousse on crackers, steamed multigrain salad with hung curd, homemade savory cheese and so on.

Judging a culinary show

Talking to the winners…pic courtesy RYA Metro

With the knowledge & unlimited enthusiasm they have shown towards cooking, they all are winners to me!

Judging a culinary show

A moment that lasted an eternity…pic courtesy RYA Metro

Felt slightly nervous sharing the center stage, watching the audience applaud and holding the mike after ages…gave a small speech to inspire the participants and was honored by the organizers of the event.

Certainly a moment that lasted an eternity!

Steamed Bottle Gourd Koftas in Spicy Gravy

Recipes | Steamed Bottle gourd Koftas in Spicy Yogurt Curry

Here is an Indian curry, a  recipe which is quite popular in many houses of Rajasthan in India – Bottle gourd Koftas, soft balls made with bottle gourd and dipped in spicy gravy. Normally Koftas are deep fried and then added to the gravy, But I like to steam and then shallow fry to reduce the fat content in my recipe.


(serve 3)

For Koftas

  • 2 cups packed grated bottle gourd
  • 2 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups of water
  • Oil to shallow fry

For Gravy;

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp. yogurt/curd
  • 1 green chilly
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt as desired


  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • A pinch of asafetida (hing)

Recipes | Steamed Bottle gourd Koftas in Spicy Yogurt Curry

Method; Peel and grate the bottle gourd (lauki), squeeze water from the grated veggie by pressing it in between palm. Use the water to make the gravy.

Add chickpea flour (besan), chopped coriander leaves, red chilly powder and salt and mix well to form soft dough.

Boil water in a large vessel.

Pinch small quantity of dough and form small balls from it.

Add these balls to the boiling water. All the balls will settle down initially but will start floating once they are cooked. This may take 5 minutes. Take out all the balls and keep them in colander to drain excess water. Keep the drained water to be used in the gravy.

One another method is to arrange all the Kofta balls in a flat plate, preferably a perforated plate and steam it in a pressure cooker with one cup of water (without the vent) for 15 minutes. I prefer the second way of steaming the Koftas than boiling them in water.

Heat oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the balls till they turn golden brown in color.

Recipes | Steamed Bottle gourd Koftas in Spicy Yogurt Curry

Gravy; Peel onion, dice green chilly finely. Grate the tomatoes and onions.

Take yogurt in a small bowl and add coriander powder, cumin powder turmeric powder, red chilly powder in it and mix well.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add cloves, diced green chilly, asafoetida powder and ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes on low flame.

Add grated onion, tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste in the wok and keep sauteing for another 6-7 minutes till the raw smell form the veggies disappear,

Add the yogurt mixed with spices and saute again for 5 minutes.

Recipes | Steamed Bottle gourd Koftas in Spicy Yogurt Curry

Pour the drained water and the excess water squeezed from bottle gourd in the wok and keep boiling the gravy for 10 minutes on slow flame. Take off the flame and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

To serve the dish, place the steamed Bottle gourd koftas in a serving dish and pour a ladle of gravy over it. Serve with Indian flat breads, Naan, plain rice or Biryani.


  1. Deep fry the Bottle gourd Koftas instead of steaming and shallow frying for a scrumptious treat.
  2. Omit any spices if you can’t get it and you will not find much difference in the recipe.
  3. Try making the same recipe using mashed potatoes or cottage cheese in place of bottle gourd.
  4. If you wish to use deep frying method, add a pinch of baking soda to the Koftas dough before frying. This will make Koftas very soft.
  5. Do not add Koftas in the gravy before serving, as they will absorb the gravy and will become too soggy.


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  • Priya said:

    Kofta curry looks fabulous.. Seems you had loads of wonderful time there as a judge.
    Priya recently posted..Cauliflower Mayonnaise SandwichMy Profile

  • Lubna Karim said:

    Nice to see you in the judge panel…..you look beautiful in Saree…..Recipe looks drool worthy…..koftas look perfect and yum….
    Lubna Karim recently posted..Guest Post: A Visit To Food Gully & More by Curry LeafMy Profile

  • kankana said:

    The picture says it all.. You had FUN 🙂 And this kofta is my husband’s fav. Your version sounds delicious too!
    kankana recently posted..Honeyed Fig CakeMy Profile

  • Faith said:

    Looks like a wonderful event! You are absolutely stunning, Sanjeeta.

    This dish looks very tasty! I’ve never had bottle gourd but I’ll keep my eyes open for it!
    Faith recently posted..How to Make Butternut Squash PuréeMy Profile

  • Vijitha said:

    So nice to know this S. Congrats on this honor.I am sure you had a good time. I make kofta’s with bottle gourd. Will read through your recipe in detail and try it sometime.
    Vijitha recently posted..How to plan a Navaratri / Golu party? Details with a quick fix party drink – Orange PunchMy Profile

  • Biny anoop said:

    wow gr8 dear…u can do dat and u r rt for this.
    Recipe sounds yum

  • Angie@Angie's Recipes said:

    A great event for everyone!
    Bottlegourd koftas looks delish!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Pumpkin Spelt DoughnutsMy Profile

  • dassana@veg recipes of india said:

    thats a great event and looks like you had a great time. this is a fav dish at home.
    dassana@veg recipes of india recently posted..french fries | navratri recipeMy Profile

  • Anamika@madcookingfusions said:

    Kofta curry looks fabulous, hope you had fun during the event… kofta curry is on of the fav dishes at home, loved ur version!
    Anamika@madcookingfusions recently posted..Fresh Fruit Salad With Yogurt | Easy Navaratri RecipeMy Profile

  • mjskit said:

    Sanjeeta – a huge congratulations!!! It’s so thrilling to see you get such great recognition for your passions! You are gorgeous! Anyone that can make something called a “gourd” looks so delicious is definitely a winner!
    mjskit recently posted..Black Bean and Shiitake Enchiladas and GiveawayMy Profile

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said:

    What a fun event! I’m sure there was lots of beautiful and delicious food, it must have been hard to chose!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted..Twice Baked Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Parmesan and SageMy Profile

  • EA-The Spicy RD said:

    What a run event! These lofts look delicious, and I just stocked up on chickpea flour, so I will have to try making them. I’m not familiar with bottle gourd…would any typed squash work? Can’t wait to try these!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    It must have been a wonderful experience to be a judge on this big event! Don’t worry, from the pictures, you look very natural! What a beautiful presentation of Koftas!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Soboro Bento そぼろ弁当My Profile

  • thyme (sarah) said:

    I think it would be so fascinating to attend an event like this…and especially in India. India holds such fascination for me and I love how these food blogs give glimpses into the food culture of such a country steeped in so much history! Congratulations to you on this opportunity and experience!

  • Swap said:

    Wow… liked the steamed option very much. A new curry to my list, looks lovely 🙂

  • Charul @ Tadka Masala said:

    Amazing pictures and nice recipe dear! 🙂

  • peachkins said:

    WOW! Congratulations to you for being invited to be a judge!
    peachkins recently posted..Black Velvet Pancake, a Very Halloween Breakfast…BOO!!My Profile

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb said:

    haha loved the pictures with the little “me”. Looks like you had lots of fun at the event, I am envious now! =P

    I am out of dudi ideas these days and I have never tried making kofta before, so I am up for the challange.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    Congrats on the honorable gesture for the event — what an experience 🙂

    Love the idea of steaming the koftas and then shallow frying. Looks delish!
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Apples & Cardamom Tea CakesMy Profile

  • LinsFood said:

    Hi Sanjeeta, just started following you on Google+. I love the sound of this recipe, would you be able to substitute it with other squash type vegetables? Love your picture, it’s fantastic!
    LinsFood recently posted..Tinkerbell CakeMy Profile

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