During my absence though I did receive enormous responses from my readers and followers. I was often complimented for my bakes and desserts, while was also requested why common everyday cooking hardly saw the space. I had to ponder. Somehow, I wondered if everyday cooking needs to be mentioned here. There are hundreds of recipes and I know it would be great to jot them here. But, I put up this space as a repository for my own future reference too. So would I come back to view those recipes which I am thorough at? Probably, I need to look beyond myself.
I do realize there are many others who look for Indian recipes, breakfast dishes, main course meals, quick bites, savories and much more beyond just desserts, no matter how common they may sound to us. So with my comeback, I promise to bring more of these.
One of the main course recipes I had seen a while ago was this Makhani Masala from ecurry. I totally fell in love with this Malai Kofta recipe. The rich dumplings in creamy gravy looked so perfect and tempting, as if they were taken off a restaurant menu. I had to try them to convince myself that they could replicate the flavors too. I followed Soma's Makhani Masala recipe exactly the same way. For the dumpling however, I used Lauki koftas instead of paneer, just to put in some health and reduce on guilt of eating this rich gravy ;). I have made Lauki koftas in the regular low fat gravy way on many occasions, but this creamy version is surely the one you will crave for those occasional treats. And yes, do reserve this for those special occasions... where you want to be showered with compliments of being a Master Chef!
The recipe may seem long, but I bet, it's worth every attempt.
Lauki Malai Kofta
For the Lauki Koftas
1 big bottle gourd/lauki, grated and water squeezed
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
Cornflour to bind
Salt to taste
Bind all the above ingredients with cornflour to form a dough. Bottle gourd has a lot of water content, hence it's best to add salt to the grated bottle gourd and leave it aside for 10 mins before squeezing all the water away. Reserve this water for the gravy to be made later. You may use cornflour or chickpea flour to bind the ingredients. Make lemon sized balls and deep fry in oil on low flame till the koftas are cooked and turn golden brown in color. Keep aside till the gravy is made.
1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup onion paste
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamoms
2 green cardamoms
1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
1/2 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
5 cups pureed fresh tomato
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt to taste
3 hot green chillies slit (optional)
1/2 cup melted butter/ghee
1.5 cups heavy cream (I used Amul cream)
4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cashews, soaked and ground into a paste
3 teaspoons kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves available at the Indian groceries)
Heat butter/ghee/oil in a pan. Add bay leaves, cardamoms and fenugreek seeds. As the seeds begin to sizzle, add in the ginger garlic paste, onion paste, chili powder and stir fry till the fat separates. Add tomato paste, green chillies, cinnamon powder and crushed kasuri methi. Simmer to cook and reduce the gravy till the oil separates.
Add the milk & cream, cashew paste, crushed kasoori methi and simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust the salt to taste.
Add the koftas into the gravy one at a time carefully. Turn the flame off the moment you add in the koftas and serve immediately. The koftas will soften in the gravy. Hence, add the koftas only when you are ready to serve. You may reserve some koftas aside and serve it fresh with the gravy on top of it. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fresh cream before serving.
This is a rich indulgence and not an everyday food you can have. A low fat cheat version is by reducing the cream and using yogurt instead. But the flavors would differ and that's a compromise for health. If you are looking for that authentic restaurant flavor, I wouldn't recommend you to use substitutes. After all, there's no harm if you indulge in these once a while. Sometimes, it's fun to break rules, may be diet rules too!