22 September, 2013

Lauki Ke Kofte - My style

a complicated recipe made easy..

GGoing back into my childhood memories, I remember bottle gourd was grow into my garden. It was definitely a pleasure to see the vine growing longer and the little fruit bottle-gourd grow from a little finger size to a big hand size. But being a kid I used to dislike eating the bottle-gourd just like any other youngster would do. Though one of the most nutritious vegetable, it could never appeal me. However my mom had new tricks to make me eat it. She would prepare delicious bottle gourd kofta (recipe to be shared below) and lovely ghiya kheer. A recipe which not only me but my friends also used to also love it. Ghiya Kheer recipe can also be find out on this blog with this link : Ghiya Kheer.

Between bottle gourd have several different names all over India. Lauki, ghiya, dhoodhi, white gourd, bottle squash, calabash gourd etc. are some of the familiar names. It have a cooling effect, hence helps from heat stroke, its juice is often given to kids. For the people trying to lose weight, bottle gourd is one of the best option to eat, it is low in calories and fat and is on high in dietary fiber. Bottle gourd also have properties that would help in in improving the digestion.

It interesting to know, apart from eating and relishing recipes, bottle gourd in India is used to make the Indian musical instruments, such as the tanpura, sitar and rudra veena, which are constructed from dried calabash gourds imported from specific cultivators of Africa region.

So here sharing my favorite and mom's recipe in detail with pictures, which is absolutely loved by my friends and hubby too.

Serves: 4 to 6 pax easily.

Ingredients for kofta:

  • a medium size bottle gourd : 1 nos.
  • small onion : 1 nos
  • garlic : 5-6 pods
  • ginger : 1 inch
  • green chilli : 1 nos.
  • coriander leaves : big bunch
  • coriander seeds : 2 tea spoon
  • cumin seeds : 1 tea spoon
  • black pepper : 4-5 nos
  • Salt : to taste
  • turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • red chilli powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • gram flour/ besan/ chana dal flour : 2 tablespoon
  • bread/ bread-crumb : 1 nos/ 1 tablespoon

Making of Kofta mix:

  1. Peel the gourd, discard the stem, grate the Bottle gourd/lauki/dhoodi atleast 2 cups.
  2. Fine chop the onion.
  3. Crush the garlic and ginger.
  4. Dry roast in the pan the cumin, coriander, black pepper seeds and crush them into the rough powder form.
  5. Mix the ingredients together with the gram flour and bread slice or bread crumb.

Making of the Kofta :

  1. Heat the oil in the deep pan for frying the balls/kofta.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and make small balls.
  3. The kofta balls should be smaller than the lemon size.
  4. Quickly add the tiny balls made up of the ingredients in the medium hot oil.
  5. Fry until golden brown and crisp from outside.
  6. Take them out on the tissue paper to extract all extra oil from the kofta.

Ingredients for the Gravy :

  • Oil : 1 tablespoon
  • Tomatoes : 2nos
  • Onion small : 1 size
  • Garlic : 4-6 pods
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander seed : 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick : smaller than 1/2 inch
  • Red chilli powder : 1/2 tea spoon
  • Salt : to taste

Making of the Gravy :

  1. Heat the oil in the pan.
  2. Add the fine chopped onion and fry until glossy.
  3. Crush the garlic and add into the dry powder in the spices, mix well.
  4. Add the tomatoes either fine chopped or paste.
  5. Cook well, until the spices leave the oil.
  6. Then add water and bring into the running consistency.
  7. Let the gravy boil for 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat and then leave them to the rest.
  8. Add the balls/kofta into the gravy ones its is all ready and leave them for the while before eating.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or chapati/roti.

Note :

  • Ensure that the bottle gourd has a smooth skin, is pale green in colour and free from any cuts, spots and blemishes. It should be firm to handle and the flesh should not feel soft when pressed. The smaller the size the less the seeds would be inside.
  • The quantity of the spices can to altered according to the taste.
  • If the bottle gourd/lauki/dhoodhi after being grated leaves water, then squeeze the grated bottle gourd with your palm and keep the water aside.
  • This bottle gourd water can be reused into the gravy to add more nutrition and flavour.
  • I personally love to add extra fresh green coriander leaves to the kofta to give more fragrance.
  • The dry masala/spices added into the kofta/balls is the same spice added into the gravy. So one can make it extra while dry-roasting it.
  • While you are mixing the ingredients for the kofta, heat the oil simultaneously. This will not only save the time but also prevent the kofta ingredients to leave the water again.
  • The kofta balls must be fried as quickly as possible after the ingredients are ready.
  • You can store the fried ingredients in the freeze in air tight container for two days.
  • When I was a kid, I used to love to eat the kofta soon after it was fried.
  • Kofta are one of the most nutritious piece of food, full of bottle gourd and gram flour.
  • Gram flour very healthy ingredient and is also a binding agent.
  • Bread-slice or bread crumb also help in binding but most of all it helps in giving the right texture since bottle gourd when being grated start leaving lots of moisture which makes it a bit difficult to make the kofta.

Hope you enjoyed! Try making at home for a better change from the routine food :)

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04 September, 2013

When we are young

This post was written back long time in July,2012, which I simply missed out posting being engaged into several other things. Somehow though missed, it was still lingering back into my head, which I had to share it with you all.


TWhat a beautiful moment it is today when co-incidentally got in touch after more than a decade with one of my very dear school-mate and a lovely bench companion. So this post after a long duration is dedicated to my adorable Mg(s), which will consist of two parts. True and very pure emotions in words... don’t know if the words justify the feeling but sure it brings back many new and old series of reminiscences. 48 hours and my childhood memories are back.

Recently went in an official meet attended by papa.
In the beginning, the only motive I had about the meet was only a way to have a little good time with papa after a long time. But things came up to me in such a beautiful manner. As I was busy sipping my wine and catching up some tit-bits, I was surprised to see kind of familiar faces. Kind of because it been decades not have met certain people and who used to be decades ago living like neighbours, just the next door people. I was watching some faces of people who are the parents of my friends, my school friends and some of my best friends, some friends still in-touch with me through facebook. I wonder how over the period of time we friends were connected through various social media yet lost being directly in touch with each other’s parents.

To me the parents of my friends are equally important like friends. Not just because they are the parents of my friends but some of them have been the source of inspiration of mine during my childhood. They loved me, adored me and encouraged me generously like their own kids, which cannot be forgotten. Their blessing, I know have definitely shaped my life for better. Above all they have been the friends of my parents, when they were young and some of them had been friends with my parents even before I was born. I have heard about them since childhood, the stories and fun they had being young chaps.

Holding a ladder of success, taking each step forward at times takes you far from the people we love; it’s difficult to take out time for them.
But O’ Sweet memories! It brought back the roller coaster effect of the rainbow moments of celebrating life together with a strange realization that someday I might face the same kind of emotions. Almost each one of them could recognise me instantly. May be not much I have changed over the years. Just as I meet them they instantly said ‘You might not be remembering me, you were so small then playing on road in school uniforms while going back home...’ However the matter of fact is I not only could recognise them but have never forgotten them ever in my life. Then wonder why I could not get in touch with them all.

Anyways, never too late I guess for talking to the people, about whom we always think and talk about. Amazingly almost all of them hardly know that we think of them and always miss them. Their presence has been always like a blessing and a feeling that someone truly care about you. That what is life after all, so many of them got retired, some even changed their company of job, some could not meet again due to frequent transfers and posting at different zones of the country yet memories are always refined, giving you the warmth still.

When people are young,
they live together yet in a competitive mode of life, where they want to do everything, from agreements to disagreements, nevertheless move ahead. However I understood, at the latter stage of life when almost everyone of us have achieved a lot, we no longer wish to run but stand together tall and applaud at each other’s achievements. Indeed its only latter stage of your life when you want to feel secured and such feeling can be acquired only with those people who knew you how exactly you were in your younger stage of life.

My best friend’s mom,
almost after 14 years met me almost unexpectedly in a huge gathering, was so miraculous moment. Yet the magic began when she could recognise me, just as she did, she cupped my face into her warm hands, hugging me so tight like never before. Her words echoed in my ears and I was almost chocked in my throat and was so sanely blank looking into her eyes and that familiar loving feeling like forever. Life have been so busy, for almost everything we work so hard, running throughout a day, losing breaths, yet the real faith, calmness, care, satisfaction we can get is only while your elders take their hands over your head and bless you unconditionally. It’s the blessing a bliss we all long for.

Moving around the world for work and other needs yet while getting time being in touch with the people whom we truly love and they know you well only brings you back closure to your strong ties with your culture, the traditions we adore and more or less the love shines consoling the soul. Standing in a crowd yet full of familiar old faces, now I realised memories have longer shelf life and at the back of our head everything is stored. We do not forget even a bit and same way the sweet memories of friends does not fades away that easily. And indeed often every small piece of the world conspires posing effortlessly to get together at the urging heart desire to meet, to hear and see the whole picture.

...there comes a point
in life
we realise
who really matters,
who never did and
who always will!
Talking to an old friend,
makes you apprehend how much your life has changed yet you still the same with same wave-length with some of them. Fortunately, in the internet age, though there are many ways to locate old friends online, no matter which country or timezone you are in, nevertheless at the same time, it's really very easy to miss the proclamation of connection.

But this is where we realise when we are starting to search and look for old pals. Making efforts to search, “Finding your long lost friends", honestly only brings a feeling to follow hope and not believe in an ugly despair. And a miracle to have made to discover out some after days and years spend in search indicates every little bit adding up into something immensely beautiful and accept as true genuine endeavour are never futile.

When we don’t talk enough with our the people we love, there’s a lot of wonderful stuff that ends up not getting conveyed. When we don’t spend enough time with the people you love and care so much, there’s a whole lot more of beautiful emotion that ends up not being felt blessed and appreciated. Nurturing our important selective relationships because those are the people we love them, it’s merely a sign to show and realise that we have already prioritized them into our schedule daily day. This little gesture could also be just a little “Hello!" over the phone.

However, I also believe that people come into our lives and stay for a reason, a season or a lifetime. New and old friends will expose you to new interests and introduce you to even more friends, so you are widening your scope on many fronts. Sure you need people in your life who adores you, appreciate, encourage, inspire, care and love you back (unconditionally). You definitely need to hold on to that bunch of beautiful people who believe in you. But if there are people in your life who do no good to you in anyway like above or vice-versa if you don’t contribute in someone’s life for enhanced and good, it’s better to simply letting go.
*It is true that you may say goodbye to some friendships you started long ago, but only if you both no longer have much in common. And it's natural to add friends and lose touch with others as you grow and evolve.

No matter what, it’s an irony that the people who sometimes can’t let go of someone or something for the fear of emptiness in their life, yet their spirits are being wasted away because they choose to feebly hold on to something they can’t control over. Perhaps positively at times removing some people from your heart completely creates a room for better people!
Moreover it’s wonderful to see that only people you need in your life are the one who needs you there, even when you have nothing to offer but just thyself !
Spicy Saturday PickThis post have been selected by the popular Blog Website Blogadda as Amazing posts in Spicy Saturday Pick of the week on 7th September,2013.

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