Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lau er Kofta Curry

What is Kolkata becoming? The number of rape cases being on the rise with a chief minister shrugging of her responsibility by pointing the finger of blame at the growing intimacy between boys and girls, mothers, judged on what I have seen of my sister, mother of a teenage daughter, are too antsy to let their daughters out on their own, forget after nightfall, even in broad daylight. In fact, my niece leads a sheltered life, precisely, due to my sister worrying sick over her daughter's safety that she drops her to the tuition class barely 100 meters away from home. It's not that during our growing years, our movements were unrestricted. It was, to a healthy extent, restricted with my parents always reminding me, the moment I would step out, of returning home on time which in my case was stipulated between 8 to 9 p.m. depending on the occasion, but it was never this bad.

I don't know whether my sister is the overprotective anxious mother going overboard to keep her daughter out of harm's way or if it is the common feeling shared by every mother of a teenage daughter, but one thing I must admit Kolkata is not a safe haven anymore.

Lau er Kofta Curry is my mother's favourite lau preparation. Bottle Gourd is a summer vegetable found aplenty in the market during the scorching summer months when to cope up with the soaring temperature, all we could think of is to drink gallons of water. Bottle gourd, deemed as one of the most consumed summer vegetables, contains a lot of water that helps in digestion and cooling the body. The Indian summer produce are better in quality in all respect than what are sold in US especially in view of the bottle gourd that are available here having very little water content and taking pointlessly more time getting cooked. 
For more recipes on Kofta curries, please click the links below:

Ingredients:                                             Cooking time: 40 minutes
For Kofta:
ü  1 lau or bottle gourd (peeled and grated)
ü  1 small red onion (chopped)
ü  4-5 heaped tbsp gram flour or besan
ü  2-3 green chillies (chopped)
ü  1 tsp cumin powder
ü  1 inch ginger (grated)
ü  4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
ü  Salt to taste
For Curry:
ü  1 onion, 1 large tomato and 4-5 green chillies (ground into paste)
ü  1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
ü  1 heaped tbsp yogurt, beaten
ü  1 tsp cumin powder
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  1 tsp kashmiri red mirch
ü  1 tsp coriander powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tsp sugar
ü  Coriander leaves for garnishing
Ingredients for sauté:
ü  1 inch cinnamon stick
ü  1 bay leaf
ü  1 tsp black peppercorns
ü  1/2 tsp cumin seeds
ü  2 green cardamoms
1) Mix in the ingredients mentioned under kofta and fry spoonful’s of the batter in smoking hot oil to get koftas. (Please note lau or bottlegourd discharges water, so in case the batter is runny; add more gram flour for binding.) Keep them aside.
2) To make the curry, first heat oil in a wok and when oil becomes piping hot, add the ingredients for saute and allow them to crackle.
3) Next add onion, tomato and green chilli paste. Stir around for 2 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, kashmiri red mirch, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Sauté the spices for 5-8 minutes till oil floats on the surface.
4) Add heaped tablespoon of yogurt and stir briskly till yogurt combines into the spices. Pour 1 or 2 cups of water and bring the gravy to a boil. Toss in the fried koftas and cook covered for 1 minute.
5) Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti, paratha and so much as steaming rice.

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