Fried zucchini-chickpea balls in a tangy tomato curry
This dish is an absolute winner, both in terms of taste and appeal. I am always looking for creating dishes that give an interesting twist to vegetables that my family will enjoy eating. In Indian cooking, kofta’s are usually made with bottle gourd. Bottle gourd (Indian names: Lauki, Dhudi, Norsk Navn: flaskegresskar) is from the squash family and used very often in Indian homes during the summer months. My mom used to make these kofta’s quite often and I remember that this was the only way she could sneak in bottle gourd into my food.
Bottle gourd being difficult to source in Norway, I recreated the kofta’s using Zucchini since it comes very close to the texture and flavor of bottle gourd.
This is a great way to glamorize the squash and serve it as a winning dish on the dinner table. The kofta’s taste absolutely creamy and delicious and the tangy and mildly spiced tomato curry is a great match. The dish tastes just as good with roti’s or rice.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the Kofta:
2 cups, grated zucchini
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 small onion, grated fine
½ tbsp – minced ginger
½ tbsp – minced garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying the kofta’s
For the curry:
Oil – 2 tbsp
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes grinded into a puree
2 tbsp of natural greek yogurt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli
½ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
For the Kofta’s:
Mix the grated onion and zucchini in a big bowl and sprinkle 2 tsp of salt and set aside for 15 min. After 15 minutes, press the zucchini and onion, between your hands and squeeze out the liquid as much as you can. Reserve the liquid for later use. Alternatively, you could use a muslin cloth to do this. Put the squeezed zucchini and onion into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients for the kofta. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a splash of the squeezed water into the mixture. Make small balls with the mixture and keep aside for frying. The mixture can be a bit sticky, so oil your hands a bit to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands before making the kofta’s.
Heat the oil in a deep bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium and add the balls. Fry the kofta’s until they turn brown and are cooked. The oil should be on medium heat and not very hot, so that the kofta’s cook from the inside as well.
Once the kofta’s are cooked, take them out on a kitchen paper and keep aside for dipping in the curry later.
For the Curry:
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Once hot, add the onions and sauté on medium heat until the onions are translucent pink in color. Now add the ginger-garlic to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the pureed tomatoes. Cook this mixture on medium heat until you see the oil on the edges. Once the oil floats on the edges, the mixture is ready. Add in the dry spices and salt. Give this mixture a good stir. Take the pan off the heat and add yogurt. Mix the yogurt by gently swirling the mixture with a spatula a few times. Return the pan back on the heat and cook for a few minutes. Now add about a cup of water to thin out the curry into a gravy consistency. Let this boil on low heat for 5-7 minutes, until the curry boils.
Add the kofta’s in the curry and let the curry simmer for a minute. The dish is now ready to be served. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with roti’s or rice.
Add the kofta’s in the curry just before you serve them. This will retain the crispiness of the kofta’s.