Vegetarian Concoctions

April 5, 2007

Doodhi Kofta

Filed under: Doodhi / Lauki, Main meals, Mughalai, Paneer, Punjabi — Hema @ 1:52 pm

As a kid, I don’t remember ordering anything other than malai kofta when we went out to eat at restaurants. I love koftas – any kind. When I first saw meatballs in spaghetti at a subway in the US, they reminded me of the Indian kofta. That is something I want to try some day – vegetarian ‘meatballs’ – Italian style. Then I chanced to see another version of kofta at a mediterranian restaurant here. Again, just ‘see’ because I couldn’t eat them being vegetarian. It was interesting to see new variations of my old favourite. New variations? Apparently not! Indian koftas’ Middle Eastern counterparts are the originals.

Originally Persian, Kofta, köfte, kafta, kufta or kafteh are quite a tradition throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. I presume it travelled to India with the Mughals.

Interesting facts listed at wikipedia:

In Arab countries, kufta’ (كفته) is usually shaped into cigar-shaped cylinders.
In Turkey, köfte is a very popular food item. According to recent research done by a private food company, there were 291 different kinds of köfte in the country. phew!
In Bulgaria, they are called kyufteta (кюфтета)
In Greece, they are called keftedes.
In Romania, they are called chiftele
In Armenia, they are called kyufta
In Albania, they are called qoftë

I think I will stick to calling my version a kofta. I made this one with doodhi (Lauki).


What you need:

For the kofta:

Doodhi grated – 3 cups

Ginger (grated) – 1 tbsp

Green chillies – 2-3 nos

Ajwain (omam) – 1/4 tsp

Besan (Chick-pea flour) – 3/4 cup

Baking soda – a small pinch

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

For the gravy:

Onions – 3 medium sized

Garlic – 2 cloves

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece

Tomatoes – 1 large

Cashew nuts – 1/4 cup

Khus Khus – 2 tbsp

Crumbled Paneer / Ricotta cheese – 1/4 cup

Bayleaves – 2 nos

Cinnamon stick – 1 medium

Cloves – 2-3 nos

Jeera – 1 tsp

Jeera pwd – 2 tsp

Nutmeg pwd – 1/8 tsp

Atta – 1 tbsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp or according to taste

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Cilantro to garnish

I guess that is it. The list is quite long, but most ingredients are always available in your pantry.

Grate the doodhi, sprinkle some salt on it and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Now, squeeze out all the water, add rest of the ingredients for the kofta and make a dough soft enough to shape the koftas. Remember, the doodhi will still have some water content, so add water if required only after mixing the ingredients. Shape the koftas as desired and fry them in oil till golden brown. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

For the gravy, Heat up the pan and dry roast the atta till the raw smell goes. Set aside. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil and add jeera, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add coarsely chopped onions and saute till transparent. add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Swith off the stove and let cool. Grind this with the tomato, cashewnut and khus khus with minimum water. Now, heat up the remaining 1 tbsp oil and add the bay leaves. Add the gravy, turmeric, jeera pwd, nutmeg pwd, salt and chilli pwd. Let this cook for about 15 – 20 minutes till the masala is cooked and you see tiny spots of oil on the surface. Not too much oil will float since the input was minimal. For a more restaurant style look, increase the amount of oil. Once cooked, add the paneer or ricotta cheese. Curd could also be substituted. Add the koftas and garnish with cilanto and cream (optional). Serve hot with naan, parathas or rotis.

Now I pack this off to Meeta for this month’s Monthly Mingle.

I was not sure if this recipe was appropriate for the Middle Eastern theme. Though koftas are originally Middle Eastern, my recipe is quite Indian. Meeta has generously accepted my entry. Thanks Meeta for letting me in and thanks Asha for suggesting that I send it to the event.



  1. Hello sissy:)))

    Looks mouthwatering and I like the new tubular shape too!So many names for the same good old Koftas,eh?!

    How come I have to drag your recipes for some event every time?!;D
    Send it to Meeta for ” Arabian Nights” AFTER you get her logo up there,it’s perfect.
    Girl,if I have to guide you to this and that event one more time,I will smack you up the head and shake you up until your brain gets muddled!:p
    I am a kind blogger by the way!!!!

    Comment by asha — April 5, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  2. Kofta is know by so many names!!!!! Nice info there hema 🙂
    And a lovely recipe too!!!!

    HAhahahahaha (that was for asha 😉 )

    Comment by Coffee — April 6, 2007 @ 12:49 am

  3. Hema,
    Doodhi koftha is so so new to me. I am literally drooling over your picture. Just want to gobble that koftha right away. Lovely presentation.

    Comment by seema — April 6, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  4. Hema, I am blogrolling you as i don’t wanna miss out any of your wonderful recipes from now on. Hope you don’t mind.

    Comment by seema — April 6, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  5. Hi Hema,
    I prepare this kofta dry version. I never tried with gravy. Yours look perfect. Thanks.

    Comment by Menu Today — April 8, 2007 @ 4:21 am

  6. Its afternoon hema and I did not have my lunch yet. Ur recipe makes me more hungry…. Iam going…. where else , to have my lunch. Thnaks for the recipe.

    Comment by Prema — April 8, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

  7. I love Lauki Koftas after I had them at a North Indian friends place. I could have never guessed those yummy Koftas are from Lauki

    Comment by sandeepa — April 9, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  8. That does sound and look delicious! Wish I had some chappathi and ur curry for my dinner!!

    hehehe…had a good laugh reading Asha’s comment for u :))

    Comment by Mishmash! — April 9, 2007 @ 7:46 pm

  9. Hi Hema,
    I am still on a holiday!
    koftas are looking yum:)Your recipe for the gravy is nice and rich,I will surely try this 🙂

    Comment by archana — April 10, 2007 @ 7:51 am

  10. cant see the pic hema. will come back later n check again

    Comment by sia — April 10, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  11. Hey Hema,
    This recipe is really good.I love the koftas in any form ..hmm

    Comment by soumya — April 10, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

  12. Looks delicious, Hema! I love love love koftas. Do you think they would hold together to be baked, as well? Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    Comment by outofthegarden — April 10, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

  13. Hi Hema, I love malai koftas. Yours looks delicious.

    Comment by Aahaar Vihaar — April 11, 2007 @ 9:07 am

  14. nice koftas!! never knew koftas were arabian!! nice info.

    Comment by sharmi — April 16, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

  15. Hey lovely recipe and a awesome pic! I wanna try ur recipe! But 1 ques – when would u use the roasted atta in the gravy??

    Comment by Saloni — July 5, 2010 @ 4:14 am

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