My 2nd food post, & I have taken forever to put this up. I was asked for this recipe quite a while back. The original recipe can be found here. The name is misleading as there is no pumpkin in this recipe. It is actually bottle gourd. But before you wrinkle your nose in disgust, try it once. I never thought bottle gourd could taste so good. Well, it is another thing that the great taste was due to the bread koftas 🙂
Koftas are, simply put, meatballs. However, in India, there are vegetarian versions of it too- ones made out of banana, bottle gourd or the humble potato. Koftas are deep-fried, so if you are watching your diet, you may want to skip this. However, Wikipedia tells me that if deep-frying is done well, it does not make the food excessively greasy. So, perhaps, give it a second thought. Now that I have tempted you enough, let me get down to the recipe.
I made the dish for just N & me. N helped me with the koftas while I prepared the gravy. He removed the crust from three bread slices, and soaked the bread in just about enough curd for 20 minutes. Removing the crust reminds me of my annoyance with folks who do not eat this part of bread. It is too hard or tasteless, according to them. Spoilt! That is all I will say.
Moving on, once the 20 minutes were up, N added two tbsp. plain flour, one tbsp. chopped coriander leaves, two chopped green chillies, a pinch of baking soda & salt to taste. He kneaded it thoroughly, divided it equally and shaped into balls or ‘koftas’. He then deep-fried them in refined oil.
In parallel, I started preparing the curry. I boiled one small potato and a handful of green peas. I peeled, diced and fried the potatoes once they were boiled and a littled cooled. Keeping these aside, I peeled half a bottle gourd and cut it into big pieces. I boiled the pieces in two cups of water. Once done, I blended the pieces in the mixer.
I then put one large tomato in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. I made a puree out of the tomato. While the blended bottle gourd & pureed tomato cooled down, I heated clarified butter or ‘ghee’ in a non-stick pan and fried one tbsp. of cumin seeds until they crackled.
I added one tsp. chilli powder, the blended bottle gourd, the tomato puree and about half a cup of water, and cooked for 10 minutes. Then I added the green peas, fried potatoes and salt to the curry. Be careful with the salt as you have already put salt in the koftas too. I cooked the curry till everything was well mixed and there was no rawness left.
When we were ready to serve, we added the koftas to the curry and boiled it once. And we were ready to go! It will taste best with paratha but if you keep the curry a little thin, rice will be a good accompaniment too.
Footnote: The bread koftas taste great by themselves. Prepare these as snacks some evening!